How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools

good case study format

It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.

That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.

A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is a case study?

How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.

A case study is the detailed story of a customer’s experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.

The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:

  • Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
  • Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
  • Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
  • Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
  • Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.

Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.

Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.

89% of consumers read reviews before buying, 79% view case studies, and 52% of B2B buyers prioritize case studies in the evaluation process.

Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.

Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.

1. Identify your goal

Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.

The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.

2. Choose your client or subject

Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.

The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.

Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:

  • Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
  • Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
  • Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
  • Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.

Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.

3. Conduct research and compile data

Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.

This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.

4. Choose the right format

There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:

  • An engaging headline
  • A subject and customer introduction
  • The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
  • The solution the customer used to solve the problem
  • The results achieved
  • Data and statistics to back up claims of success
  • A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor

It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.

5. Write your case study

We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.

  • Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
  • Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
  • Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
  • Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
  • Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
  • Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.

6. Promote your story

Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.

Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.

Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.

Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format

  • Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
  • Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
  • Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
  • Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
  • Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.

Template 2 — Data-driven format

  • Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
  • Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
  • Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.

While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.

Juniper Networks

One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.

A Lenovo case study showing statistics, a pull quote and featured headshot, the headline "The customer is king.," and Adobe product links.

The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.

Tata Consulting

When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.

Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.

When you’re ready to get started with a case study:

  • Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
  • Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
  • Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
  • Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.

Adobe can help

There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.

To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .

Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.

Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.

Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.

Request a demo to learn more about Adobe Analytics.

https://business.adobe.com/blog/perspectives/b2b-ecommerce-10-case-studies-inspire-you

https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/business-case

https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/what-is-real-time-analytics

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Methodology

  • What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 20, 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case, other interesting articles.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

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good case study format

Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

  • Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
  • Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
  • Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
  • Open up new directions for future research

TipIf your research is more practical in nature and aims to simultaneously investigate an issue as you solve it, consider conducting action research instead.

Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

Example of an outlying case studyIn the 1960s the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania was discovered to have extremely low rates of heart disease compared to the US average. It became an important case study for understanding previously neglected causes of heart disease.

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.

Example of a representative case studyIn the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.

While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

  • Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
  • Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
  • Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.

Example of a mixed methods case studyFor a case study of a wind farm development in a rural area, you could collect quantitative data on employment rates and business revenue, collect qualitative data on local people’s perceptions and experiences, and analyze local and national media coverage of the development.

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

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In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Normal distribution
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Null hypothesis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Control groups
  • Mixed methods research
  • Non-probability sampling
  • Quantitative research
  • Ecological validity

Research bias

  • Rosenthal effect
  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Selection bias
  • Negativity bias
  • Status quo bias

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good case study format

All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study

good case study format

What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.

What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?

While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.

Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.

The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.

Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:

Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.

Types of Case Studies

The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:

Types of Case Studies

  • Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
  • Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
  • Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
  • Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
  • Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.

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Case Study Format

The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:

  • Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
  • Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
  • Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
  • Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
  • Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
  • Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
  • References. Provide all the citations.

How to Write a Case Study

Let's discover how to write a case study.

How to Write a Case Study

Setting Up the Research

When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:

  • Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
  • Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
  • Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
  • Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
  • Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.

Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'

Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:

  • Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
  • Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
  • Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
  • Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
  • Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
  • Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
  • Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.

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Case Study Outline

Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.

Introduction

  • Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
  • Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
  • Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
  • Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
  • Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
  • Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
  • Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
  • Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
  • Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
  • Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
  • Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
  • Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.

Writing a Case Study Draft

After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:

How to Write a Case Study

  • Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
  • In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
  • Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
  • Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
  • At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.

Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study

Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :

‍ With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.

Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.

Finalizing the Draft: Checklist

After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:

  • Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
  • Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
  • Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
  • Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?

Problems to avoid:

  • Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
  • Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
  • Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.

How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

Let's see how to create an awesome title page.

Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:

  • A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
  • The title should have the words “case study” in it
  • The title should range between 5-9 words in length
  • Your name and contact information
  • Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.

Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:

There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.

Citation Example in MLA ‍ Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA ‍ Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.

Case Study Examples

To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.

Eastman Kodak Case Study

Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany

To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .

Get Help Form Qualified Writers

Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. If you’re having trouble with your case study, help with essay request - we'll help. EssayPro writers have read and written countless case studies and are experts in endless disciplines. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our custom case study writing service , and all of your worries will be gone.

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Home Blog Business How to Present a Case Study: Examples and Best Practices

How to Present a Case Study: Examples and Best Practices

Case Study: How to Write and Present It

Marketers, consultants, salespeople, and all other types of business managers often use case study analysis to highlight a success story, showing how an exciting problem can be or was addressed. But how do you create a compelling case study and then turn it into a memorable presentation? Get a lowdown from this post! 

Table of Content s

  • Why Case Studies are a Popular Marketing Technique 

Popular Case Study Format Types

How to write a case study: a 4-step framework, how to do a case study presentation: 3 proven tips, how long should a case study be, final tip: use compelling presentation visuals, business case study examples, what is a case study .

Let’s start with this great case study definition by the University of South Caroline:

In the social sciences, the term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which can generalize findings across populations.

In simpler terms — a case study is investigative research into a problem aimed at presenting or highlighting solution(s) to the analyzed issues.

A standard business case study provides insights into:

  • General business/market conditions 
  • The main problem faced 
  • Methods applied 
  • The outcomes gained using a specific tool or approach

Case studies (also called case reports) are also used in clinical settings to analyze patient outcomes outside of the business realm. 

But this is a topic for another time. In this post, we’ll focus on teaching you how to write and present a business case, plus share several case study PowerPoint templates and design tips! 

Case Study Woman Doing Research PPT Template

Why Case Studies are a Popular Marketing Technique 

Besides presenting a solution to an internal issue, case studies are often used as a content marketing technique . According to a 2020 Content Marketing Institute report, 69% of B2B marketers use case studies as part of their marketing mix.

A case study informs the reader about a possible solution and soft-sells the results, which can be achieved with your help (e.g., by using your software or by partnering with your specialist). 

For the above purpose, case studies work like a charm. Per the same report: 

  • For 9% of marketers, case studies are also the best method for nurturing leads. 
  • 23% admit that case studies are beneficial for improving conversions. 

Moreover, case studies also help improve your brand’s credibility, especially in the current fake news landscape and dubious claims made without proper credit. 

Ultimately, case studies naturally help build up more compelling, relatable stories and showcase your product benefits through the prism of extra social proof, courtesy of the case study subject. 

Case Study Computer PPT Template

Most case studies come either as a slide deck or as a downloadable PDF document. 

Typically, you have several options to distribute your case study for maximum reach:

  • Case study presentations — in-person, virtual, or pre-recorded, there are many times when a case study presentation comes in handy. For example, during client workshops, sales pitches, networking events, conferences, trade shows, etc. 
  • Dedicated website page — highlighting case study examples on your website is a great way to convert middle-on-the-funnel prospects. Google’s Think With Google case study section is a great example of a web case study design done right.

Case Study Example Google PPT Template

  • Blog case studies — data-driven storytelling is a staunch way to stand apart from your competition by providing unique insights, no other brand can tell. 
  • Video case studies — video is a great medium for showcasing more complex business cases and celebrating customer success stories.

Once you decide on your case study format, the next step is collecting data and then translating it into a storyline. There are different case study methods and research approaches you can use to procure data. 

But let’s say you already have all your facts straight and need to organize them in a clean copy for your presentation deck. Here’s how you should do it. 

Business Case Study Example PPT Template

1. Identify the Problem 

Every compelling case study research starts with a problem statement definition. While in business settings, there’s no need to explain your methodology in-depth; you should still open your presentation with a quick problem recap slide.

Be sure to mention: 

  • What’s the purpose of the case study? What will the audience learn? 
  • Set the scene. Explain the before, aka the problems someone was facing. 
  • Advertise the main issues and findings without highlighting specific details.

The above information should nicely fit in several paragraphs or 2-3 case study template slides

2. Explain the Solution 

The bulk of your case study copy and presentation slides should focus on the provided solution(s). This is the time to speak at length about how the subject went from before to the glorious after. 

Here are some writing prompts to help you articulate this better:

  • State the subject’s main objective and goals. What outcomes were they after?
  • Explain the main solution(s) provided. What was done? Why this, but not that? 
  • Mention if they tried any alternatives. Why did those work? Why were you better?

This part may take the longest to write. Don’t rush it and reiterate several times. Sprinkle in some powerful words and catchphrases to make your copy more compelling.

3. Collect Testimonials 

Persuasive case studies feature the voice of customer (VoC) data — first-party testimonials and assessments of how well the solution works. These provide extra social proof and credibility to all the claims you are making. 

So plan and schedule interviews with your subjects to collect their input and testimonials. Also, design your case study interview questions in a way that lets you obtain quantifiable results.

4. Package The Information in a Slide Deck

Once you have a rough first draft, try different business case templates and designs to see how these help structure all the available information. 

As a rule of thumb, try to keep one big idea per slide. If you are talking about a solution, first present the general bullet points. Then give each solution a separate slide where you’ll provide more context and perhaps share some quantifiable results.

For example, if you look at case study presentation examples from AWS like this one about Stripe , you’ll notice that the slide deck has few texts and really focuses on the big picture, while the speaker provides extra context.

Need some extra case study presentation design help? Download our Business Case Study PowerPoint template with 100% editable slides. 

Case Study Man With Giant Clipboard PPT Template

Your spoken presentation (and public speaking skills ) are equally if not more important than the case study copy and slide deck. To make a strong business case, follow these quick techniques. 

Focus on Telling a Great Story

A case study is a story of overcoming a challenge, and achieving something grand. Your delivery should reflect that. Step away from the standard “features => benefits” sales formula. Instead, make your customer the hero of the study. Describe the road they went through and how you’ve helped them succeed. 

The premises of your story can be as simple as:

  • Help with overcoming a hurdle
  • Gaining major impact
  • Reaching a new milestone
  • Solving a persisting issue no one else code 

Based on the above, create a clear story arc. Show where your hero started. Then explain what type of journey they went through. Inject some emotions into the mix to make your narrative more relatable and memorable. 

Experiment with Copywriting Formulas 

Copywriting is the art and science of organizing words into compelling and persuasive combinations that help readers retain the right ideas. 

To ensure that the audience retains the right takeaways from your case study presentation, you can try using some of the classic copywriting formulas to structure your delivery. These include:

  • AIDCA — short for A ttention, I nterest, D esire, C onviction, and A ction. First, grab the audience’s attention by addressing the major problem. Next, pique their interest with some teaser facts. Spark their desire by showing that you know the right way out. Then, show a conviction that you know how to solve the issue—finally, prompt follow-up action such as contacting you to learn more. 
  • PADS — is short for Problem, Agitation, Discredit, or Solution. This is more of a sales approach to case study narration. Again, you start with a problem, agitate about its importance, discredit why other solutions won’t cut it, and then present your option. 
  • 4Ps — short for P roblem, P romise, P roof, P roposal. This is a middle-ground option that prioritizes storytelling over hard pitches. Set the scene first with a problem. Then make a promise of how you can solve it. Show proof in the form of numbers, testimonials, and different scenarios. Round it up with a proposal for getting the same outcomes. 

Take an Emotion-Inducing Perspective

The key to building a strong rapport with an audience is showing that you are one of them and fully understand what they are going through. 

One of the ways to build this connection is by speaking from an emotion-inducing perspective. This is best illustrated with an example: 

  • A business owner went to the bank
  • A business owner came into a bank branch 

In the second case, the wording prompts listeners to paint a mental picture from the perspective of the bank employees — a role you’d like them to relate to. By placing your audience in the right visual perspective, you can make them more receptive to your pitches. 

Case Study Medical Example PPT Template

One common question that arises when creating a case study is determining its length. The length of a case study can vary depending on the complexity of the problem and the level of detail you want to provide. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide how long your case study should be:

  • Concise and Informative: A good case study should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary fluff and filler content. Focus on providing valuable information and insights.
  • Tailor to Your Audience: Consider your target audience when deciding the length. If you’re presenting to a technical audience, you might include more in-depth technical details. For a non-technical audience, keep it more high-level and accessible.
  • Cover Key Points: Ensure that your case study covers the key points effectively. These include the problem statement, the solution, and the outcomes. Provide enough information for the reader to understand the context and the significance of your case.
  • Visuals: Visual elements such as charts, graphs, images, and diagrams can help convey information more effectively. Use visuals to supplement your written content and make complex information easier to understand.
  • Engagement: Keep your audience engaged. A case study that is too long may lose the reader’s interest. Make sure the content is engaging and holds the reader’s attention throughout.
  • Consider the Format: Depending on the format you choose (e.g., written document, presentation, video), the ideal length may vary. For written case studies, aim for a length that can be easily read in one sitting.

In general, a written case study for business purposes often falls in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 words. However, this is not a strict rule, and the length can be shorter or longer based on the factors mentioned above.

Our brain is wired to process images much faster than text. So when you are presenting a case study, always look for an opportunity to tie in some illustrations such as: 

  • A product demo/preview
  • Processes chart 
  • Call-out quotes or numbers
  • Custom illustrations or graphics 
  • Customer or team headshots 

Use icons to minimize the volume of text. Also, opt for readable fonts that can look good in a smaller size too.

To better understand how to create an effective business case study, let’s explore some examples of successful case studies:

Apple Inc.: Apple’s case study on the launch of the iPhone is a classic example. It covers the problem of a changing mobile phone market, the innovative solution (the iPhone), and the outstanding outcomes, such as market dominance and increased revenue.

Tesla, Inc.: Tesla’s case study on electric vehicles and sustainable transportation is another compelling example. It addresses the problem of environmental concerns and the need for sustainable transportation solutions. The case study highlights Tesla’s electric cars as the solution and showcases the positive impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Amazon.com: Amazon’s case study on customer-centricity is a great illustration of how the company transformed the e-commerce industry. It discusses the problem of customer dissatisfaction with traditional retail, Amazon’s customer-focused approach as the solution, and the remarkable outcomes in terms of customer loyalty and market growth.

Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s case study on brand evolution is a valuable example. It outlines the challenge of adapting to changing consumer preferences and demographics. The case study demonstrates how Coca-Cola continually reinvented its brand to stay relevant and succeed in the global market.

Airbnb: Airbnb’s case study on the sharing economy is an intriguing example. It addresses the problem of travelers seeking unique and affordable accommodations. The case study presents Airbnb’s platform as the solution and highlights its impact on the hospitality industry and the sharing economy.

These examples showcase the diversity of case studies in the business world and how they effectively communicate problems, solutions, and outcomes. When creating your own business case study, use these examples as inspiration and tailor your approach to your specific industry and target audience.

Finally, practice your case study presentation several times — solo and together with your team — to collect feedback and make last-minute refinements! 

1. Business Case Study PowerPoint Template

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To efficiently create a Business Case Study it’s important to ask all the right questions and document everything necessary, therefore this PowerPoint Template will provide all the sections you need.

Use This Template

2. Medical Case Study PowerPoint Template

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3. Medical Infographics PowerPoint Templates

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4. Success Story PowerPoint Template

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5. Detective Research PowerPoint Template

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6. Animated Clinical Study PowerPoint Templates

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
  • Writing a Case Analysis Paper
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Reflective Paper
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • Acknowledgments

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in the Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

  • The case represents an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • The case provides important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • The case challenges and offers a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in current practice. A case study analysis may offer an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • The case provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings so as to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • The case offers a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of east central Africa. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a rural village of Uganda can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community. This example of a case study could also point to the need for scholars to build new theoretical frameworks around the topic [e.g., applying feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation].

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work.

In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

  • What is being studied? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis [the case] you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why is this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would involve summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to investigate the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your use of a case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in relation to explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i.e., subject of analysis] and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; and, c) what were the consequences of the event in relation to the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using them as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.g., why is one politician in a particular local election used to show an increase in voter turnout from any other candidate running in the election]. Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e.g., a classroom of students].

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, historical, cultural, economic, political], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, explain why you are studying Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research suggests Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review. Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1) reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2) state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood more in terms of managing access rather than preserving access to a scarce resource.

Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis that leave the reader questioning the results.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent] knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical [context-dependent] knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.

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The ultimate guide to writing a good case study

good case study format

Your prospect has done their research. They’ve made a list of requirements. They’ve compared several possible solutions (including yours). They’ve been to your website and had conversations with a salesperson. And they’ve narrowed their search down to your product and your competitor. On paper, both products look similar. But your prospect is still on the fence.

So what’s it going to take for them to go with yours? 

Probably something that convinces them that your product gets results. 

Enter the case study—tiebreaker extraordinaire, and your best friend. 

In this post, we’ll look at:

  • What a case study is and why you need one
  • 3 elements of a good case study
  • How to prep for a case study
  • 5 steps to writing your case study
  • Tips for making a good case study great
  • 5 real-life case study examples

🔍  Are you looking for some case study examples? Check out this free eBook housing five case study examples.

📙 Get the eBook

What is a case study and why should you create one?

A case study is basically a document (it can be a video too) that outlines how a customer used your product to overcome a problem. It’s real-world proof that your product works and gets results.

If your product or service has helped customers get great results, a case study will help you showcase those results to your future customers. They’re an excellent way to attract more business, and can mean the difference between a lost opportunity and a really good end-of-quarter. 

What makes a good case study? 

First, it’s helpful to highlight what makes case studies bad: most are painfully boring. What they have in research and detail, they lack in a cohesive, consumable story. They list numbers and contain data, but the reader isn’t sure what it all means or why it’s relevant to their problem. They end up existing as technical documents that do little to persuade or excite anyone—and that’s unfortunate because they have the potential to be a powerful sales tool that can help you close big deals in the decision-making phase. 

So how do you write a good one, then? Here are three characteristics every good case study should have:

It’s digestible

There’s no hard rule on how long a case study should be. But it’s always a good idea to ask “ How short can we make it? ” A good case study avoids the unnecessary minutiae, knows what it’s trying to say, and communicates it quickly and without ambiguity. With a few exceptions, effective case studies are concise and, clear. 

It’s thorough

On the other side of the length equation, being thorough is also important. While the case study is all about making impressive claims about how a product helped someone achieve a certain result, it also needs to explain how it happened. Good case studies include key details that show how the customer got from A to B using the product—something you don’t get with customer reviews . Don’t make your reader work too hard to visualize the story. If you can use images and videos, use them!

It’s a story

Yes, case studies are sales tools. But the ones really worth reading tell a compelling story with a beginning, middle, and end. They beg to be read all the way through. Often, they present a problem that creates tension and demands a solution. And remember, in this story, the customer is the hero—not you. 

6 steps to find a good case study

Before you start actually writing, there’s a bit of prep work you’ll need to do to make sure your case study is amazing. (This is where good customer service teamwork will really come in handy since your customer support team will have the best intel.)

1. Choose your customer

You may have many customers who’ve seen great results using your product. But you can’t just pick a name out of a hat and showcase their results; they may not be right for your audience or their results may not be typical. For example, don’t feature an enterprise company when most of your customers are small businesses. Or claiming that your clients have a 90% customer retention rate when most of them see 70% on average (still impressive, though).  When considering which customer to use, start by creating a list of customers that meet these criteria:

They’ve seen good results with your product or service

The numbers are what really matter. So choose customers that have seen strong results using your product. But be careful about showcasing exceptionally good results if they’re not likely to be repeated by most.

The benefits of moving to RingCentral: cost savings and a measurable boost in team productivity

RingCentral: W2O

They have a respected and recognizable brand

Strong brands give your product instant social proof. They prove that you’re established and trustworthy. That alone can make you a front-runner in the decision-making process. After all, if Big Brand X trusts you, so can a prospect.

They’re a typical customer

Good results don’t carry as much weight when they’re achieved by companies in other industries or verticals. Identify current customers that are similar to your target audience. If you sell enterprise software, choose enterprise customers. If you’re a consultant in the healthcare industry, choose a customer that works in healthcare. 

With your list in hand, you can start reaching out. Picking up the phone can be a lot more effective than sending an email. It’s more personal, lets you build rapport, and is harder to ignore than an email. 

Try to get in touch with customers who use or are very familiar with your product or service—someone who can speak to results. Tell them you’re interested in writing a case study and you’d love to hear more about the results they’ve achieved. Be clear about what the process involves on their part—whether it’s a list of questions in an email, a phone call, or if it involves a camera and crew.  

If you’ve provided value, your customer is more likely to see you as a partner rather than a vendor and, hopefully, will be happy to participate. Remember, you’re also shining a spotlight on their own success. So it’s a win-win.  

That said, you may hear “no” a few times, too. Don’t get discouraged. Some customers will decline for different reasons, regardless of the results they’ve achieved with your product. 

Don’t just use a personal phone to call your customers and interview them. Use a communications app that has a phone calling feature instead. Not only would it show your business as the caller ID (instead of a shady phone number they’re not familiar with), some apps let you record conversations too to make it easy to go back and analyze your conversations (just remember to ask first).

2. Begin your research

Start collecting information about your customer. This is easier if you work as a team. From sales to marketing to customer service, everyone who’s been in touch with customer will have insight about their experience. They can help you understand what your customers do and sell, and what challenges they’re facing. Identify the stakeholders you need to speak with—anyone in the company who uses your product—from the CEO to the marketing intern. Collect stats, even ones you don’t think are relevant—they may be later. 

3. Ask the right questions

Smart questions get insightful answers. Here are some examples of great questions to start with: 

“What were some of the bigger challenges you faced before using our product?”

“How does our product help you reach your individual goals?”

“Which key metrics have improved most since using our product/service?”

“Which parts of your business have been impacted most, and how?”

“How long did it take to roll out our product?”

But don’t stop there. Use these questions to segue into deeper, more targeted questions that underscore the real-world benefits of your product. Let the conversation flow naturally—this is the magic of interviews. You can’t always plan for what interesting topics come up next.

4. Identify your target audience

Beyond your customer’s industry, consider who the target audience of the case study is. Who will see it? Who does it need to influence? While it’s often high-level executives who make large purchase decisions, employees at all levels can act as a champion for your product or brand. Your case study may have to persuade an IT worker that your product or service is going to make their job easier, while it needs to convince the CFO that they’ll see a real return on investment. 

5. Identify the top three things you want to highlight

During the initial research phase, you’ve likely uncovered a lot of interesting information about your customer and their experiences with your product. While it might be tempting to use it all, your case study should quickly and clearly communicate the value of your product. Go through this information and identify the three most important business results you want to communicate in the case study. 

Stats and key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider using in your case study:

  • Ramp up time: How long did it take to get started with your product? Did it improve any other facet of their workflow? 
  • Sales results: How did the product impact your customer’s bottom line?
  • Total return on investment (ROI): How long did it take to earn more than they spent on your product? 
  • Productivity increases: Which teams saw improvements in process and workflow? And now much? 

Case study about how Payscale saw 6x ROI in revenue with their ABM Program

Here’s how RollWorks shows off the amazing ROI that their customers, Payscale, got with them .

6. Choose your format

A case study doesn’t have to exist only as a PDF attachment in a late-stage deal email (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Consider the format. Think about who’s going to read it (or watch it). Do you want to turn this into fancy interactive content ? Does your prospect have the time and interest to dig into the details? Or do they just want the facts? Choose the format that you think best engages the audience that you’re selling to.

Report format

This long-form document has been the gold standard for B2B case studies for many years. This format is effective when the subject matter is complex and demands detail. Remember, a CTO who’s evaluating large-scale business communications platforms for a multi-year deal is going to want more information than a marketing manager who’s evaluating a new social media ad platform:

Zendesk case study with IDC

Here’s how Zendesk presented their case study with IDC as a report .

Keeping things short and sweet is often the best way to get your message heard. By focusing on the key points, you can highlight the biggest wins at just a glance. Most report format case studies can be easily condensed into a one-page document. This is ideal for prospects (and salespeople) who are short on time and prefer something they can quickly scan—like this Adzerk case study with Reddit :

LinkedIn case study about Adobe

Few things can tell a story the way that video can, and case studies are no exception. They give you an unmatched level of creative freedom and storytelling using music, lighting, pacing, and voice that can evoke emotions and persuade someone using more than just numbers and facts. And at just a couple of minutes long, they can do a lot of heavy lifting in not a lot of time. 

Dropbox case study about Expedia

Dropbox: Expedia

Infographic

People love infographics. They’re an excellent way to convey important data in a simple, eye-pleasing way. If your case study requires you to use a lot of data to prove a point—or if visualizing data can make the results more clear—building an infographic case study can be a great investment. 

Case study infographic

5 key steps for writing your case study

Congrats. You’ve done the research. You’ve made the calls. You’ve pored over all the details. Now, all you have to do is write. Here are five simple steps that’ll help you create a powerful case study that champions your customer and clearly showcases the real-world value of your products or services. 

1. Introduce the customer

Set the stage for your case study with an introduction. Briefly explain who your customer is with a bit of background information that can include their industry, product, company size, and location. You don’t have to dig into the nuts and bolts of their business, but you do want the reader to understand who they are and what they do. The more color you can provide here, the more impactful it’ll be when you show the awesome results this customer saw because they chose you.

2. State the problem

Every product or service is a solution to a problem. Explain the problem (or problems) that you helped your customer overcome. Describe the larger impact of the issue. Maybe it was customers leaving. Perhaps it was bad leads—or good leads that were never followed up on. Use this as an opportunity to clearly show what was at stake, and make sure you leave the jargon out of it. Frame the problem in simple terms that any reader can understand. 

3. Introduce your product

This is where you begin solving the problem. Briefly introduce your product and what it does. Start on a general level, then apply it to the challenge the customer was experiencing. Talk about which teams or individuals used your product and how they used it. Be sure to make the connection between the customer’s problem and your solution crystal clear. 

4. Show results

The big reveal. What kind of results was your customer able to achieve using your product or service? Speak to how they solved the problem descriptively, but also with cold, hard numbers. Not everything can be measured in numbers (sometimes, peace of mind is a powerful benefit all on its own), but whenever you can, back up your story with the stats. At the very least, this will make it easy for a CFO—or a prospect who wants to buy—to justify buying your product.

For example: 

The customer saw a 33% increase in web traffic, a large influx of social media activity, and a 10% boost in revenue over the duration of the campaign . 

5. Prove it

Don’t forget to show your math. How you get the results is just as important as the results themselves.  What specific steps were taken to get those results? Not only will this help validate your claims, it makes it easier to envision how the reader may be able to achieve them, too. 

8 tips to write a great case study

1. avoid jargon .

As a subject matter expert in your line of work, it can be tempting to go into as much jargony detail as possible. This is normal as it’s often the language we use at work every day. But remember that your customer probably doesn’t speak that language. When in doubt, use an app like Hemingway to make sure you’re writing at a level that most people can understand.  

2. Spend time on your title

It’s tempting to use the case study’s most interesting or impressive KPI as your title. But that also gives away the ending before the story begins, and skips details that are important for context in the process. Try writing a title that piques interest without being a spoiler. 

3. Edit. Then edit again. 

Once you’ve got your first draft completed (and the jargon removed), edit the case study. A few best practices here:

  • Look for and eliminate unnecessary adjectives. 
  • Speak in an active voice. 
  • Look for details that get in the way of the story. 

And then do it all over again until you can’t edit it down anymore without losing the essence of the story. 

4. A picture is worth a thousand words

This is especially true when you’re talking about a block of text that’s trying to communicate a chunk of data. Well-designed charts, graphs, images, or infographics can do the heavy lifting of several pages of text in just seconds. They can also help break up large pieces of text, making the case study easier to read—and nicer to look at. After all, the end goal is to have these read all the way through.

Here’s an example of a graphic from a longer CPA Canada infographic (that includes a short case study embedded inside it): 

CPA Canada infographic (that includes a short case study embedded inside it)

5. Pull quotes

Hard data and results are good. But a customer quote is a great piece of social proof and adds a human element to your case study. And that makes your results more believable. Customer quotes can also be used outside of your testimonial too—try adding it on your website, landing pages, or email marketing campaigns or welcome emails to get more people to check out your products and buy online. Here’s an example of what that looks like:

Example of a customer quote

6. Make it scannable

Some people will take the time to read your case study front to back and absorb every detail. Some won’t give it more than a single glance. And sometimes, that person is the decision-maker. Make the most important results easy to spot, read, and retain at a glance. Write headings that are descriptive—if someone just scanned them, would they be able to get the gist of the story? Consider putting a summary at the very beginning of the study, or call out impressive results in a larger font size. 

7. Record your interviews

Ditch the pen and paper. If you’re conducting one-on-one interviews over the phone, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by recording the conversation (with your customer’s consent, of course). There are tools that can make this easier too—you might find one or two in your marketing stack . For example, you could use RingCentral’s Zapier integration to transcribe your conversation into a text file. 

8. Don’t forget the call to action (CTA)

Your prospect is excited because your case study has done an excellent job of showing how your product or service can help drive results for customers. Now, how do they get in touch with you to learn more? Whether it’s a button that links to your website, an email address, or a phone number, make sure there’s an easy way of getting in touch with you in the case study. 

5 examples of great case studies from real-life companies

Mailchimp: make a connection in real life with postcards.

What we like about it: The title doesn’t give everything away all at once, and the case study tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The sections are clearly titled and organized, and the results are easy to find. As a bonus: the video adds a believable human element.

How to write a case study: Mailchimp example

LinkedIn: How Adobe achieves alignment and ABM success with LinkedIn

What we like about it: It’s detailed without being a novella. It understands and speaks to the enterprise customer. The key points are in bullet format and easy to read. The important wins are highlighted. And the video makes the content easy to engage with. 

How to write a case study: LinkedIn example

Hootsuite: How Meliá became one of the most influential hotel chains on social media

What we like about it: The title makes you want to read the whole customer story. They’ve embdedded a well-produced video high on the page, so you can choose to watch it before you read on. The design and layout of the page makes the content and images easy to consume, and the results can’t be missed. Also, they weren’t shy about adding CTAs. 

How to write a case study: Hootsuite example

Slack: So yeah, we tried Slack

What we like about it: This case study follows the tried and true format of customer, problem, solution, and results. It uses humor and relatable characters throughout to support the story and keep your attention. And it’s only two minutes long so it gets the point across quickly. 

How to write a case study: Slack example

Assetworks: South Carolina School Board Insurance Trust

What we like about it: This case study tackles the otherwise complex and technical topic, and simplifies it as an infographic using images to make the results clear. It’s concise and easy to follow because you can see the math without actually doing any math. 

How to write a case study: South Carolina School Board Insurance Trust example

The final word on building a great case study…

Sure, an ad or boosted social media post (more on social media best practices here) can make someone aware of your brand or that your product exists, and a landing page can tell them how your product can solve their problem. 

But there’s nothing quite as powerful as someone else singing your praises. 

And that’s exactly what a case study does. Spend the time to do it right and it has the potential to deliver huge ROI no matter how big or small your company is. And not just once—but over and over again.

Originally published Feb 05, 2020, updated Oct 19, 2022

good case study format

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16 case study examples (+ 3 templates to make your own)

Hero image with an icon representing a case study

I like to think of case studies as a business's version of a resume. It highlights what the business can do, lends credibility to its offer, and contains only the positive bullet points that paint it in the best light possible.

Imagine if the guy running your favorite taco truck followed you home so that he could "really dig into how that burrito changed your life." I see the value in the practice. People naturally prefer a tried-and-true burrito just as they prefer tried-and-true products or services.

To help you showcase your success and flesh out your burrito questionnaire, I've put together some case study examples and key takeaways.

What is a case study?

A case study is an in-depth analysis of how your business, product, or service has helped past clients. It can be a document, a webpage, or a slide deck that showcases measurable, real-life results.

For example, if you're a SaaS company, you can analyze your customers' results after a few months of using your product to measure its effectiveness. You can then turn this analysis into a case study that further proves to potential customers what your product can do and how it can help them overcome their challenges.

It changes the narrative from "I promise that we can do X and Y for you" to "Here's what we've done for businesses like yours, and we can do it for you, too."

16 case study examples 

While most case studies follow the same structure, quite a few try to break the mold and create something unique. Some businesses lean heavily on design and presentation, while others pursue a detailed, stat-oriented approach. Some businesses try to mix both.

There's no set formula to follow, but I've found that the best case studies utilize impactful design to engage readers and leverage statistics and case details to drive the point home. A case study typically highlights the companies, the challenges, the solution, and the results. The examples below will help inspire you to do it, too.

1. .css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class]{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;cursor:pointer;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class]{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-1l9i3yq-Link[class][class][class][class][class][data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Volcanica Coffee and AdRoll

On top of a background of coffee beans, a block of text with percentage growth statistics for how AdRoll nitro-fueled Volcanica coffee.

People love a good farm-to-table coffee story, and boy am I one of them. But I've shared this case study with you for more reasons than my love of coffee. I enjoyed this study because it was written as though it was a letter.

In this case study, the founder of Volcanica Coffee talks about the journey from founding the company to personally struggling with learning and applying digital marketing to finding and enlisting AdRoll's services.

It felt more authentic, less about AdRoll showcasing their worth and more like a testimonial from a grateful and appreciative client. After the story, the case study wraps up with successes, milestones, and achievements. Note that quite a few percentages are prominently displayed at the top, providing supporting evidence that backs up an inspiring story.

Takeaway: Highlight your goals and measurable results to draw the reader in and provide concise, easily digestible information.

2. Taylor Guitars and Airtable

Screenshot of the Taylor Guitars and Airtable case study, with the title: Taylor Guitars brings more music into the world with Airtable

This Airtable case study on Taylor Guitars comes as close as one can to an optimal structure. It features a video that represents the artistic nature of the client, highlighting key achievements and dissecting each element of Airtable's influence.

It also supplements each section with a testimonial or quote from the client, using their insights as a catalyst for the case study's narrative. For example, the case study quotes the social media manager and project manager's insights regarding team-wide communication and access before explaining in greater detail.

Takeaway: Highlight pain points your business solves for its client, and explore that influence in greater detail.

3. EndeavourX and Figma

Screenshot of the Endeavour and Figma case study, showing a bulleted list about why EndeavourX chose Figma followed by an image of EndeavourX's workspace on Figma

My favorite part of Figma's case study is highlighting why EndeavourX chose its solution. You'll notice an entire section on what Figma does for teams and then specifically for EndeavourX.

It also places a heavy emphasis on numbers and stats. The study, as brief as it is, still manages to pack in a lot of compelling statistics about what's possible with Figma.

Takeaway: Showcase the "how" and "why" of your product's differentiators and how they benefit your customers.

4. ActiveCampaign and Zapier

Screenshot of Zapier's case study with ActiveCampaign, showing three data visualizations on purple backgrounds

Zapier's case study leans heavily on design, using graphics to present statistics and goals in a manner that not only remains consistent with the branding but also actively pushes it forward, drawing users' eyes to the information most important to them. 

The graphics, emphasis on branding elements, and cause/effect style tell the story without requiring long, drawn-out copy that risks boring readers. Instead, the cause and effect are concisely portrayed alongside the client company's information for a brief and easily scannable case study.

Takeaway: Lean on design to call attention to the most important elements of your case study, and make sure it stays consistent with your branding.

5. Ironclad and OpenAI

Screenshot of a video from the Ironclad and OpenAI case study showing the Ironclad AI Assist feature

In true OpenAI fashion, this case study is a block of text. There's a distinct lack of imagery, but the study features a narrated video walking readers through the product.

The lack of imagery and color may not be the most inviting, but utilizing video format is commendable. It helps thoroughly communicate how OpenAI supported Ironclad in a way that allows the user to sit back, relax, listen, and be impressed. 

Takeaway: Get creative with the media you implement in your case study. Videos can be a very powerful addition when a case study requires more detailed storytelling.

6. Shopify and GitHub

Screenshot of the Shopify and GitHub case study, with the title "Shopify keeps pushing ecommerce forward with help from GitHub tools," followed by a photo of a plant and a Shopify bag on a table on a dark background

GitHub's case study on Shopify is a light read. It addresses client pain points and discusses the different aspects its product considers and improves for clients. It touches on workflow issues, internal systems, automation, and security. It does a great job of representing what one company can do with GitHub.

To drive the point home, the case study features colorful quote callouts from the Shopify team, sharing their insights and perspectives on the partnership, the key issues, and how they were addressed.

Takeaway: Leverage quotes to boost the authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your case study. 

7 . Audible and Contentful

Screenshot of the Audible and Contentful case study showing images of titles on Audible

Contentful's case study on Audible features almost every element a case study should. It includes not one but two videos and clearly outlines the challenge, solution, and outcome before diving deeper into what Contentful did for Audible. The language is simple, and the writing is heavy with quotes and personal insights.

This case study is a uniquely original experience. The fact that the companies in question are perhaps two of the most creative brands out there may be the reason. I expected nothing short of a detailed analysis, a compelling story, and video content. 

Takeaway: Inject some brand voice into the case study, and create assets that tell the story for you.

8 . Zoom and Asana

Screenshot of Zoom and Asana's case study on a navy blue background and an image of someone sitting on a Zoom call at a desk with the title "Zoom saves 133 work weeks per year with Asana"

Asana's case study on Zoom is longer than the average piece and features detailed data on Zoom's growth since 2020. Instead of relying on imagery and graphics, it features several quotes and testimonials. 

It's designed to be direct, informative, and promotional. At some point, the case study reads more like a feature list. There were a few sections that felt a tad too promotional for my liking, but to each their own burrito.

Takeaway: Maintain a balance between promotional and informative. You want to showcase the high-level goals your product helped achieve without losing the reader.

9 . Hickies and Mailchimp

Screenshot of the Hickies and Mailchimp case study with the title in a fun orange font, followed by a paragraph of text and a photo of a couple sitting on a couch looking at each other and smiling

I've always been a fan of Mailchimp's comic-like branding, and this case study does an excellent job of sticking to their tradition of making information easy to understand, casual, and inviting.

It features a short video that briefly covers Hickies as a company and Mailchimp's efforts to serve its needs for customer relationships and education processes. Overall, this case study is a concise overview of the partnership that manages to convey success data and tell a story at the same time. What sets it apart is that it does so in a uniquely colorful and brand-consistent manner.

Takeaway: Be concise to provide as much value in as little text as possible.

10. NVIDIA and Workday

Screenshot of NVIDIA and Workday's case study with a photo of a group of people standing around a tall desk and smiling and the title "NVIDIA hires game changers"

The gaming industry is notoriously difficult to recruit for, as it requires a very specific set of skills and experience. This case study focuses on how Workday was able to help fill that recruitment gap for NVIDIA, one of the biggest names in the gaming world.

Though it doesn't feature videos or graphics, this case study stood out to me in how it structures information like "key products used" to give readers insight into which tools helped achieve these results.

Takeaway: If your company offers multiple products or services, outline exactly which ones were involved in your case study, so readers can assess each tool.

11. KFC and Contentful

Screenshot of KFC and Contentful's case study showing the outcome of the study, showing two stats: 43% increase in YoY digital sales and 50%+ increase in AU digital sales YoY

I'm personally not a big KFC fan, but that's only because I refuse to eat out of a bucket. My aversion to the bucket format aside, Contentful follows its consistent case study format in this one, outlining challenges, solutions, and outcomes before diving into the nitty-gritty details of the project.

Say what you will about KFC, but their primary product (chicken) does present a unique opportunity for wordplay like "Continuing to march to the beat of a digital-first drum(stick)" or "Delivering deep-fried goodness to every channel."

Takeaway: Inject humor into your case study if there's room for it and if it fits your brand. 

12. Intuit and Twilio

Screenshot of the Intuit and Twilio case study on a dark background with three small, light green icons illustrating three important data points

Twilio does an excellent job of delivering achievements at the very beginning of the case study and going into detail in this two-minute read. While there aren't many graphics, the way quotes from the Intuit team are implemented adds a certain flair to the study and breaks up the sections nicely.

It's simple, concise, and manages to fit a lot of information in easily digestible sections.

Takeaway: Make sure each section is long enough to inform but brief enough to avoid boring readers. Break down information for each section, and don't go into so much detail that you lose the reader halfway through.

13. Spotify and Salesforce

Screenshot of Spotify and Salesforce's case study showing a still of a video with the title "Automation keeps Spotify's ad business growing year over year"

Salesforce created a video that accurately summarizes the key points of the case study. Beyond that, the page itself is very light on content, and sections are as short as one paragraph.

I especially like how information is broken down into "What you need to know," "Why it matters," and "What the difference looks like." I'm not ashamed of being spoon-fed information. When it's structured so well and so simply, it makes for an entertaining read.

Takeaway: Invest in videos that capture and promote your partnership with your case study subject. Video content plays a promotional role that extends beyond the case study in social media and marketing initiatives .

14. Benchling and Airtable

Screenshot of the Benchling and Airtable case study with the title: How Benchling achieves scientific breakthroughs via efficiency

Benchling is an impressive entity in its own right. Biotech R&D and health care nuances go right over my head. But the research and digging I've been doing in the name of these burritos (case studies) revealed that these products are immensely complex. 

And that's precisely why this case study deserves a read—it succeeds at explaining a complex project that readers outside the industry wouldn't know much about.

Takeaway: Simplify complex information, and walk readers through the company's operations and how your business helped streamline them.

15. Chipotle and Hubble

Screenshot of the Chipotle and Hubble case study with the title "Mexican food chain replaces Discoverer with Hubble and sees major efficiency improvements," followed by a photo of the outside of a Chipotle restaurant

The concision of this case study is refreshing. It features two sections—the challenge and the solution—all in 316 words. This goes to show that your case study doesn't necessarily need to be a four-figure investment with video shoots and studio time. 

Sometimes, the message is simple and short enough to convey in a handful of paragraphs.

Takeaway: Consider what you should include instead of what you can include. Assess the time, resources, and effort you're able and willing to invest in a case study, and choose which elements you want to include from there.

16. Hudl and Zapier

Screenshot of Hudl and Zapier's case study, showing data visualizations at the bottom, two photos of people playing sports on the top right , and a quote from the Hudl team on the topleft

I may be biased, but I'm a big fan of seeing metrics and achievements represented in branded graphics. It can be a jarring experience to navigate a website, then visit a case study page and feel as though you've gone to a completely different website.

The Zapier format provides nuggets of high-level insights, milestones, and achievements, as well as the challenge, solution, and results. My favorite part of this case study is how it's supplemented with a blog post detailing how Hudl uses Zapier automation to build a seamless user experience.

The case study is essentially the summary, and the blog article is the detailed analysis that provides context beyond X achievement or Y goal.

Takeaway: Keep your case study concise and informative. Create other resources to provide context under your blog, media or press, and product pages.

3 case study templates

Now that you've had your fill of case studies (if that's possible), I've got just what you need: an infinite number of case studies, which you can create yourself with these case study templates.

Case study template 1

Screenshot of Zapier's first case study template, with the title and three spots for data callouts at the top on a light peach-colored background, followed by a place to write the main success of the case study on a dark green background

If you've got a quick hit of stats you want to show off, try this template. The opening section gives space for a short summary and three visually appealing stats you can highlight, followed by a headline and body where you can break the case study down more thoroughly. This one's pretty simple, with only sections for solutions and results, but you can easily continue the formatting to add more sections as needed.

Case study template 2

Screenshot of Zapier's second case study template, with the title, objectives, and overview on a dark blue background with an orange strip in the middle with a place to write the main success of the case study

For a case study template with a little more detail, use this one. Opening with a striking cover page for a quick overview, this one goes on to include context, stakeholders, challenges, multiple quote callouts, and quick-hit stats. 

Case study template 3

Screenshot of Zapier's third case study template, with the places for title, objectives, and about the business on a dark green background followed by three spots for data callouts in orange boxes

Whether you want a little structural variation or just like a nice dark green, this template has similar components to the last template but is designed to help tell a story. Move from the client overview through a description of your company before getting to the details of how you fixed said company's problems.

Tips for writing a case study

Examples are all well and good, but you don't learn how to make a burrito just by watching tutorials on YouTube without knowing what any of the ingredients are. You could , but it probably wouldn't be all that good.

Writing a good case study comes down to a mix of creativity, branding, and the capacity to invest in the project. With those details in mind, here are some case study tips to follow:

Have an objective: Define your objective by identifying the challenge, solution, and results. Assess your work with the client and focus on the most prominent wins. You're speaking to multiple businesses and industries through the case study, so make sure you know what you want to say to them.

Focus on persuasive data: Growth percentages and measurable results are your best friends. Extract your most compelling data and highlight it in your case study.

Use eye-grabbing graphics: Branded design goes a long way in accurately representing your brand and retaining readers as they review the study. Leverage unique and eye-catching graphics to keep readers engaged. 

Simplify data presentation: Some industries are more complex than others, and sometimes, data can be difficult to understand at a glance. Make sure you present your data in the simplest way possible. Make it concise, informative, and easy to understand.

Use automation to drive results for your case study

A case study example is a source of inspiration you can leverage to determine how to best position your brand's work. Find your unique angle, and refine it over time to help your business stand out. Ask anyone: the best burrito in town doesn't just appear at the number one spot. They find their angle (usually the house sauce) and leverage it to stand out.

In fact, with the right technology, it can be refined to work better . Explore how Zapier's automation features can help drive results for your case study by making your case study a part of a developed workflow that creates a user journey through your website, your case studies, and into the pipeline.

Case study FAQ

Got your case study template? Great—it's time to gather the team for an awkward semi-vague data collection task. While you do that, here are some case study quick answers for you to skim through while you contemplate what to call your team meeting.

What is an example of a case study?

An example of a case study is when a software company analyzes its results from a client project and creates a webpage, presentation, or document that focuses on high-level results, challenges, and solutions in an attempt to showcase effectiveness and promote the software.

How do you write a case study?

To write a good case study, you should have an objective, identify persuasive and compelling data, leverage graphics, and simplify data. Case studies typically include an analysis of the challenge, solution, and results of the partnership.

What is the format of a case study?

While case studies don't have a set format, they're often portrayed as reports or essays that inform readers about the partnership and its results. 

Related reading:

How Hudl uses automation to create a seamless user experience

How to make your case studies high-stakes—and why it matters

How experts write case studies that convert, not bore

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Hachem Ramki

Hachem is a writer and digital marketer from Montreal. After graduating with a degree in English, Hachem spent seven years traveling around the world before moving to Canada. When he's not writing, he enjoys Basketball, Dungeons and Dragons, and playing music for friends and family.

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Writing A Case Study

Case Study Examples

Barbara P

Brilliant Case Study Examples and Templates For Your Help

15 min read

Published on: Jun 26, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 29, 2023

Case Study Examples

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A Complete Case Study Writing Guide With Examples

Simple Case Study Format for Students to Follow

Understand the Types of Case Study Here

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It’s no surprise that writing a case study is one of the most challenging academic tasks for students. You’re definitely not alone here!

Most people don't realize that there are specific guidelines to follow when writing a case study. If you don't know where to start, it's easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you even begin.

Don't worry! Let us help you out!

We've collected over 25 free case study examples with solutions just for you. These samples with solutions will help you win over your panel and score high marks on your case studies.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive in and learn the secrets to writing a successful case study.

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An Overview of Case Studies

A case study is a research method used to study a particular individual, group, or situation in depth. It involves analyzing and interpreting data from a variety of sources to gain insight into the subject being studied. 

Case studies are often used in psychology, business, and education to explore complicated problems and find solutions. They usually have detailed descriptions of the subject, background info, and an analysis of the main issues.

The goal of a case study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Typically, case studies can be divided into three parts, challenges, solutions, and results. 

Here is a case study sample PDF so you can have a clearer understanding of what a case study actually is:

Case Study Sample PDF

How to Write a Case Study Examples

Learn how to write a case study with the help of our comprehensive case study guide.

Case Study Examples for Students

Quite often, students are asked to present case studies in their academic journeys. The reason instructors assign case studies is for students to sharpen their critical analysis skills, understand how companies make profits, etc.

Below are some case study examples in research, suitable for students:

Case Study Example in Software Engineering

Qualitative Research Case Study Sample

Software Quality Assurance Case Study

Social Work Case Study Example

Ethical Case Study

Case Study Example PDF

These examples can guide you on how to structure and format your own case studies.

Struggling with formatting your case study? Check this case study format guide and perfect your document’s structure today.

Business Case Study Examples

A business case study examines a business’s specific challenge or goal and how it should be solved. Business case studies usually focus on several details related to the initial challenge and proposed solution. 

To help you out, here are some samples so you can create case studies that are related to businesses: 

Here are some more business case study examples:

Business Case Studies PDF

Business Case Studies Example

Typically, a business case study discovers one of your customer's stories and how you solved a problem for them. It allows your prospects to see how your solutions address their needs. 

Medical Case Study Examples

Medical case studies are an essential part of medical education. They help students to understand how to diagnose and treat patients. 

Here are some medical case study examples to help you.

Medical Case Study Example

Nursing Case Study Example

Want to understand the various types of case studies? Check out our types of case study blog to select the perfect type.

Psychology Case Study Examples 

Case studies are a great way of investigating individuals with psychological abnormalities. This is why it is a very common assignment in psychology courses. 

By examining all the aspects of your subject’s life, you discover the possible causes of exhibiting such behavior. 

For your help, here are some interesting psychology case study examples:

Psychology Case Study Example

Mental Health Case Study Example

Sales Case Study Examples

Case studies are important tools for sales teams’ performance improvement. By examining sales successes, teams can gain insights into effective strategies and create action plans to employ similar tactics.

By researching case studies of successful sales campaigns, sales teams can more accurately identify challenges and develop solutions.

Sales Case Study Example

Interview Case Study Examples

Interview case studies provide businesses with invaluable information. This data allows them to make informed decisions related to certain markets or subjects.

Interview Case Study Example

Marketing Case Study Examples

Marketing case studies are real-life stories that showcase how a business solves a problem. They typically discuss how a business achieves a goal using a specific marketing strategy or tactic.

They typically describe a challenge faced by a business, the solution implemented, and the results achieved.

This is a short sample marketing case study for you to get an idea of what an actual marketing case study looks like.

 Here are some more popular marketing studies that show how companies use case studies as a means of marketing and promotion:

“Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected” by Carol H. Williams

This case study explores Chevrolet's “ DTU Journalism Fellows ” program. The case study uses the initials “DTU” to generate interest and encourage readers to learn more. 

Multiple types of media, such as images and videos, are used to explain the challenges faced. The case study concludes with an overview of the achievements that were met.

Key points from the case study include:

  • Using a well-known brand name in the title can create interest.
  • Combining different media types, such as headings, images, and videos, can help engage readers and make the content more memorable.
  • Providing a summary of the key achievements at the end of the case study can help readers better understand the project's impact.

“The Met” by Fantasy

“ The Met ” by Fantasy is a fictional redesign of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, created by the design studio Fantasy. The case study clearly and simply showcases the museum's website redesign.

The Met emphasizes the website’s features and interface by showcasing each section of the interface individually, allowing the readers to concentrate on the significant elements.

For those who prefer text, each feature includes an objective description. The case study also includes a “Contact Us” call-to-action at the bottom of the page, inviting visitors to contact the company.

Key points from this “The Met” include:

  • Keeping the case study simple and clean can help readers focus on the most important aspects.
  • Presenting the features and solutions with a visual showcase can be more effective than writing a lot of text.
  • Including a clear call-to-action at the end of the case study can encourage visitors to contact the company for more information.

“Better Experiences for All” by Herman Miller

Herman Miller's minimalist approach to furniture design translates to their case study, “ Better Experiences for All ”, for a Dubai hospital. The page features a captivating video with closed-captioning and expandable text for accessibility.

The case study presents a wealth of information in a concise format, enabling users to grasp the complexities of the strategy with ease. It concludes with a client testimonial and a list of furniture items purchased from the brand.

Key points from the “Better Experiences” include:

  • Make sure your case study is user-friendly by including accessibility features like closed captioning and expandable text.
  • Include a list of products that were used in the project to guide potential customers.

“NetApp” by Evisort 

Evisort's case study on “ NetApp ” stands out for its informative and compelling approach. The study begins with a client-centric overview of NetApp, strategically directing attention to the client rather than the company or team involved.

The case study incorporates client quotes and explores NetApp’s challenges during COVID-19. Evisort showcases its value as a client partner by showing how its services supported NetApp through difficult times. 

  • Provide an overview of the company in the client’s words, and put focus on the customer. 
  • Highlight how your services can help clients during challenging times.
  • Make your case study accessible by providing it in various formats.

“Red Sox Season Campaign,” by CTP Boston

The “ Red Sox Season Campaign ” showcases a perfect blend of different media, such as video, text, and images. Upon visiting the page, the video plays automatically, there are videos of Red Sox players, their images, and print ads that can be enlarged with a click.

The page features an intuitive design and invites viewers to appreciate CTP's well-rounded campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team. There’s also a CTA that prompts viewers to learn how CTP can create a similar campaign for their brand.

Some key points to take away from the “Red Sox Season Campaign”: 

  • Including a variety of media such as video, images, and text can make your case study more engaging and compelling.
  • Include a call-to-action at the end of your study that encourages viewers to take the next step towards becoming a customer or prospect.

“Airbnb + Zendesk” by Zendesk

The case study by Zendesk, titled “ Airbnb + Zendesk : Building a powerful solution together,” showcases a true partnership between Airbnb and Zendesk. 

The article begins with an intriguing opening statement, “Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend,” and uses stunning images of beautiful Airbnb locations to captivate readers.

Instead of solely highlighting Zendesk's product, the case study is crafted to tell a good story and highlight Airbnb's service in detail. This strategy makes the case study more authentic and relatable.

Some key points to take away from this case study are:

  • Use client's offerings' images rather than just screenshots of your own product or service.
  • To begin the case study, it is recommended to include a distinct CTA. For instance, Zendesk presents two alternatives, namely to initiate a trial or seek a solution.

“Influencer Marketing” by Trend and WarbyParker

The case study "Influencer Marketing" by Trend and Warby Parker highlights the potential of influencer content marketing, even when working with a limited budget. 

The “Wearing Warby” campaign involved influencers wearing Warby Parker glasses during their daily activities, providing a glimpse of the brand's products in use. 

This strategy enhanced the brand's relatability with influencers' followers. While not detailing specific tactics, the case study effectively illustrates the impact of third-person case studies in showcasing campaign results.

Key points to take away from this case study are:

  • Influencer marketing can be effective even with a limited budget.
  • Showcasing products being used in everyday life can make a brand more approachable and relatable.
  • Third-person case studies can be useful in highlighting the success of a campaign.

Marketing Case Study Example

Marketing Case Study Template

Now that you have read multiple case study examples, hop on to our tips.

Tips to Write a Good Case Study

Here are some note-worthy tips to craft a winning case study 

  • Define the purpose of the case study This will help you to focus on the most important aspects of the case. The case study objective helps to ensure that your finished product is concise and to the point.
  • Choose a real-life example. One of the best ways to write a successful case study is to choose a real-life example. This will give your readers a chance to see how the concepts apply in a real-world setting.
  • Keep it brief. This means that you should only include information that is directly relevant to your topic and avoid adding unnecessary details.
  • Use strong evidence. To make your case study convincing, you will need to use strong evidence. This can include statistics, data from research studies, or quotes from experts in the field.
  • Edit and proofread your work. Before you submit your case study, be sure to edit and proofread your work carefully. This will help to ensure that there are no errors and that your paper is clear and concise.

There you go!

We’re sure that now you have secrets to writing a great case study at your fingertips! This blog teaches the key guidelines of various case studies with samples. So grab your pen and start crafting a winning case study right away!

Having said that, we do understand that some of you might be having a hard time writing compelling case studies.

But worry not! Our expert case study writing service is here to take all your case-writing blues away! 

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15 Best Case Study Templates to Use in Word and ClickUp

ClickUp Contributor

February 14, 2024

Case studies are valuable tools for sharing customer success stories and analyzing problem-solving approaches in a structured and informative manner. They can be used to provide detailed insights into specific projects, strategies, or challenges and offer valuable lessons and best practices for professionals across various fields. 

Content marketing teams often create case studies as a way to gain more customers and get new business. Case studies can give potential customers a better understanding of your company brand , what it does and how you could potentially help them. 

However, creating a compelling case study from scratch can be a time-consuming task. That’s where marketing case study examples and templates can help. 

What is a Case Study Template?

What makes a good case study template, 1. clickup case study template, 2. clickup case study design template, 3. clickup research report template, 4. clickup market research template, 5. clickup user research plan template, 6. clickup data analysis findings template, 7. clickup campaign report template, 8. clickup research whiteboard, 9. google docs case study template by wordstream, 10. word case study report template by template.net, 11. word case brief summary template by template.net, 12. word case study report template by template.net, 13. word case study research template by template.net, 14. word psychology case study template by template.net, 15. word media case study template by template.net.

A case study template is a pre-designed framework that serves as a starting point for creating comprehensive and structured case study documents. It provides a standardized, traditional case study format for organizing and presenting information about a particular project, problem-solving scenario, success story, or real-life situation.

Case study templates typically include sections for outlining the background and context of the case study, project documentation , describing the methodology or approach used, presenting data and analysis, and highlighting key findings and recommendations that tell the entire story. 

Business case study examples like templates can work as a guide to help content marketers, blog post writers, and anyone else creating quality content that’s customer-facing, focus on important aspects and maintain a logical flow while telling a compelling story.

Some key elements that make a case study template stand out include:

  • Clarity and organization: A well-designed template should be easy to navigate. Each section should be labeled appropriately, enabling readers to quickly find the information they seek
  • Flexibility: A good case study template should be easily customizable and able to accommodate diverse scenarios. It should be adaptable to different industries, research methodologies, and presentation styles
  • Visual appeal: Incorporating visual elements like charts, graphs, and other images can enhance a case study template’s look and make it more visually appealing. They can also aid in the comprehension of complex data. A visually engaging template can captivate readers and make the case study more impactful

15 Case Study Templates to Use in 2024

You don’t have to start from scratch when making your next case study. Instead, take a look at these carefully curated case study templates from ClickUp and Microsoft Word.

ClickUp Case Study Template

ClickUp’s Case Study Template can provide a great start for just about any type of case study you and your team want to write. It kicks off with a section for introducing both your business and the client or customer that the case study focuses on. 

After introducing both yourself and the customer, you briefly highlight the customer’s experience and the successes you achieved before delivering a more detailed description of the work you performed and the measurable results you achieved. 

The next section focuses on the objective of the case study—what the client’s goal and pain point was and why they decided you were the right company to help them achieve these goals. 

The case study template then launches into a section describing the solutions you presented and the data that backs up your success. We created this marketing case study template for a marketing agency that helps customers achieve growth through paid media campaigns, but it can easily be edited to highlight any type of solution.

ClickUp Case Study Design Template

One of the best ways of telling a customer story using a case study is by allowing the customer to do most of the work themselves. When a case study is written by current or even previous customers, it feels more sincere and honest, especially to potential customers in the evaluation process. 

If you want to try this technique out, use this ClickUp Study Design Template . You can send your customer this great case study template and allow them to fill it out themselves and basically write a case study for you. This gives you unfiltered and unbiased answers to the questions you want answered in the case study. 

The case study template helps them understand what you want the case study to look like and how the customer’s story should be described. It also helps you get great customer quotes. 

A template makes it easier for your customer to frame their experiences with you and easily explain how your product or service helped them. Hearing a peer’s success story from a firsthand perspective can be a more convincing read for prospective customers. 

Manage customers with customer database software !

ClickUp Research Report Template

Case studies are essentially customer stories, which can be told in many ways and come in many formats. A research report is another excellent way to frame a case study. 

This ClickUp Research Report Template is a step-by-step guide that can help your team create an easy-to-follow research report that allows you to clearly detail your research methods, findings, and the insights that you’ve gained from the research being presented. 

This template has a very clear structure, allowing you to simply add the following: an executive summary (brief description), introduction, the methodology used, your results, references, and any necessary appendices if supplementary material needs to be referenced in your research report. 

If you need more templates like this, check out this list of research plan templates .

ClickUp Market Research Template

Companies perform market research in order to define what their customers want and need from them. This type of research also helps you to improve product and service offers and learn more about what your competitors are doing and where the success of other businesses stems from. 

ClickUp’s Market Research Template gives you a simple-to-follow document that helps you gather and present information related to your target audience, the state of your product/service, and the state of your industry at large. 

When you perform marketing research, you are aiming to confirm your hunches about customer needs through scientific research and tangible data. 

Marketing case study examples like this are perfect because they’re very simplified and easily customizable. It offers you a section for presenting your company and why you are performing marketing research first.

The template then guides you in describing the type of research you’re doing, how you went about performing market research, data collection techniques, and what insights were garnered—whether it was from existing or potential customers.

Check out these research management tools !

Download This Template

Another type of customer-centric report that you can put together is a user research report. ClickUp’s User Research Plan Template makes it easy for you to define all of the goals and details that you want included in your user research.

The template is particularly useful for user experience (UX) teams that want to perform user persona research in order to better understand what users need and how they behave when using their product, in order to deliver a better experience to them and to new clients. 

The template starts with a “ problem statement ” where you can define the problem that the user research report is aiming to solve. Next, you’ll list the goals that you want to achieve and then clearly define the research process.

This type of marketing case study template and report can show you what a satisfied customer looks like and give you insights that help to attract and retain future customers.

Check out these user persona templates !

ClickUp Data Analysis Findings Template

Another important study that your business can perform in order to make smarter decisions is data analysis. ClickUp’s Data Analysis Findings template makes it easy for your team to perform data analysis and present it clearly to key stakeholders. 

This template also starts by setting the stage for the study and explaining it, first with a problem statement and then by explaining the significance of the study. 

Next, the template recommends that you define the scope and limitations of the study to set expectations for its potential impact. The next step is to frame your analysis methods and provide the data sources that you used in the analysis, as well as the statistical methods used.

Finally, you can present your findings in a clear and concise way. The template also includes charts and other data visualization tools you can use to make the study more engaging.

ClickUp Campaign Report Template

This ClickUp Campaign Report template is pre-built to make it incredibly easy to present the results of any ad campaign to stakeholders very easily. 

It starts with a section describing your strategy in detail, including the total costs, and the total revenue, conversions, and clicks that you expect to achieve with the campaign. 

The marketing case study template then provides charts and graphs that you can use to detail the performance of your campaigns on every single channel that you use. Case study templates like this are great for detailing information on potential customers to know how to better run your campaigns in the future.

ClickUp Research Whiteboard

Make your next user research project a collaborative, visual experience. Give everyone on your team a chance to add their thoughts and findings with virtual sticky notes using the ClickUp Research Whiteboard Template .

This is one of the more flexible case study templates in this list. Its user research tool makes it easy to take all the random bits of information your team gathers through interviews, surveys, user sessions, and other methods of feedback into one location.

Then, you can quickly organize all of that data into clear categories that make this case study template easy to see at a glance what direction you need to take your project to satisfy your customers.

Case Study Template by WordStream

If you’re writing many case studies, it’s a good idea to try out a bunch of templates over time for added inspiration. Even if you’ve found one structure works great for your case studies, changing your structure up every now and then can give you a fresh perspective on how to present a featured client. 

Another good case study you can check out is Wordstream’s Case Study Template. It has an excellent structure and provides pre-built visual cues that give you some ideas for breaking up business case study examples and making them more appealing with pictures and charts. 

Use this template to showcase particular customers’ results and share customer pain points and how they were solved. This will help you provide clear evidence to potential customers that you will be able to help them as well.

Case Study Template from Template.net

Template.net is one of the biggest websites if you’re looking for business templates. It’s especially popular for businesses that prefer creating documents in Microsoft Word and Excel.

This Case Study Template from Template.net is sparse, but it gets right to the point and is very well-structured and easy to follow.

good case study format

This Microsoft Word case study template is a great way to get right down to business! It features a clean and organized layout with clear headings and subheadings, making it easy for readers to navigate. This template also includes space for a brief summary of the case study, perfect for giving readers an overview before diving into the details.

good case study format

This Microsoft Word case study template is a great option for creating an in-depth report on your findings. The template includes sections for an executive summary, introduction, methodology, results, references, and appendices. It also features a clear structure to make it easy to gather and present information in a cohesive manner. The template also includes sections for an introduction, methodology, findings, and recommendations, ensuring that all the essential elements of a case study are covered.

good case study format

This Word case study template features a professional and organized design with clearly labeled sections for the introduction, methodology, findings, and conclusion. It also includes space for charts and graphs to visually represent data.

good case study format

Psychology case studies can be complex and detailed, making it important to have a well-organized template to present the information. The Psychology Case Study Template is perfect for this task, with clear headings and subheadings that guide readers through each section of the study. It also includes sections for summarizing key points and providing recommendations based on the findings.

good case study format

This media case study template from Template.net is perfect for showcasing the success of a marketing or advertising campaign! It includes space for key metrics, such as reach and engagement, and also has sections for outlining the challenges faced and solutions implemented. With its clean design and easy-to-follow layout, this template is ideal for presenting media case studies to clients or stakeholders.

It’s Easy to Make a Case for Using ClickUp Case Study Templates

People trust other people. That’s why personal recommendations are one of the most effective marketing tactics. A case study provides your company with just that—a personal recommendation from a client you’ve helping, telling others that you can do the same for them. 

In the selection process of choosing a product or service to go with, companies will always look at the experiences of other organizations similar to them. Marketing case studies are sincere yet persuasive and clearly show how you help others and can be a very effective differentiator.

ClickUp was designed to serve teams in any industry and of any size. So it makes sense the case study templates we offer are just as diverse and customizable.

Best of all, they are completely free to use!  Sign up for free to ClickUp to get immediate access to a massive amount of templates, free cloud storage, and of course, industry-leading project and team management features.

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28 Case Study Examples Every Marketer Should See

Caroline Forsey

Published: March 08, 2023

Putting together a compelling case study is one of the most powerful strategies for showcasing your product and attracting future customers. But it's not easy to create case studies that your audience can’t wait to read.

marketer reviewing case study examples

In this post, we’ll go over the definition of a case study and the best examples to inspire you.

Download Now: 3 Free Case Study Templates

What is a case study?

A case study is a detailed story of something your company did. It includes a beginning — often discussing a conflict, an explanation of what happened next, and a resolution that explains how the company solved or improved on something.

A case study proves how your product has helped other companies by demonstrating real-life results. Not only that, but marketing case studies with solutions typically contain quotes from the customer. This means that they’re not just ads where you praise your own product. Rather, other companies are praising your company — and there’s no stronger marketing material than a verbal recommendation or testimonial. A great case study is also filled with research and stats to back up points made about a project's results.

There are myriad ways to use case studies in your marketing strategy . From featuring them on your website to including them in a sales presentation, a case study is a strong, persuasive tool that shows customers why they should work with you — straight from another customer. Writing one from scratch is hard, though, which is why we’ve created a collection of case study templates for you to get started.

Fill out the form below to access the free case study templates.

good case study format

Free Case Study Templates

Showcase your company's success using these three free case study templates.

  • Data-Driven Case Study Template
  • Product-Specific Case Study Template
  • General Case Study Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

There’s no better way to generate more leads than by writing case studies . But without case study examples to draw inspiration from, it can be difficult to write impactful studies that convince visitors to submit a form.

Marketing Case Study Examples

To help you create an attractive and high-converting case study, we've put together a list of some of our favorites. This list includes famous case studies in marketing, technology, and business.

These studies can show you how to frame your company offers in a way that is both meaningful and useful to your audience. So, take a look, and let these examples inspire your next brilliant case study design.

These marketing case studies with solutions show the value proposition of each product. They also show how each company benefited in both the short and long term using quantitative data. In other words, you don’t get just nice statements, like "This company helped us a lot." You see actual change within the firm through numbers and figures.

You can put your learnings into action with HubSpot's Free Case Study Templates . Available as custom designs and text-based documents, you can upload these templates to your CMS or send them to prospects as you see fit.

case study template

1. " How Handled Scaled from Zero to 121 Locations with the Help of HubSpot ," by HubSpot

Case study examples: Handled and HubSpot

What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. That reflects a major HubSpot cornerstone, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why the CEO of Handled founded the company and why he thought Handled could benefit from adopting a CRM. The case study also opens up with one key data point about Handled’s success using HubSpot, namely that it grew to 121 locations.

Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the other text on the page. So while your case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.

Key Learnings from the HubSpot Case Study Example

  • Give the case study a personal touch by focusing on the CEO rather than the company itself.
  • Use multimedia to engage website visitors as they read the case study.

2. " The Whole Package ," by IDEO

Case study examples: IDEO and H&M

Here's a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, they’re greeted with a big, bold photo and the title of the case study — which just so happens to summarize how IDEO helped its client. It summarizes the case study in three snippets: The challenge, the impact, and the outcome.

Immediately, IDEO communicates its impact — the company partnered with H&M to remove plastic from its packaging — but it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, the challenge, impact, and progress are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and intriguing visuals.

Key Learnings from the IDEO Case Study Example

  • Split up the takeaways of your case studies into bite-sized sections.
  • Always use visuals and images to enrich the case study experience, especially if it’s a comprehensive case study.

3. " Rozum Robotics intensifies its PR game with Awario ," by Awario

Case study example from Awario

In this case study, Awario greets the user with a summary straight away — so if you’re feeling up to reading the entire case study, you can scan the snapshot and understand how the company serves its customers. The case study then includes jump links to several sections, such as "Company Profile," "Rozum Robotics' Pains," "Challenge," "Solution," and "Results and Improvements."

The sparse copy and prominent headings show that you don’t need a lot of elaborate information to show the value of your products and services. Like the other case study examples on this list, it includes visuals and quotes to demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s efforts. The case study ends with a bulleted list that shows the results.

Key Learnings from the Awario Robotics Case Study Example

  • Create a table of contents to make your case study easier to navigate.
  • Include a bulleted list of the results you achieved for your client.

4. " Chevrolet DTU ," by Carol H. Williams

Case study examples: Carol H. Williams and Chevrolet DTU

If you’ve worked with a company that’s well-known, use only the name in the title — like Carol H. Williams, one of the nation’s top advertising agencies, does here. The "DTU," stands for "Discover the Unexpected." It generates interest because you want to find out what the initials mean.

They keep your interest in this case study by using a mixture of headings, images, and videos to describe the challenges, objectives, and solutions of the project. The case study closes with a summary of the key achievements that Chevrolet’s DTU Journalism Fellows reached during the project.

Key Learnings from the Carol H. Williams Case Study Example

  • If you’ve worked with a big brand before, consider only using the name in the title — just enough to pique interest.
  • Use a mixture of headings and subheadings to guide users through the case study.

5. " How Fractl Earned Links from 931 Unique Domains for Porch.com in a Single Year ," by Fractl

Case study example from Fractl

Fractl uses both text and graphic design in their Porch.com case study to immerse the viewer in a more interesting user experience. For instance, as you scroll, you'll see the results are illustrated in an infographic-design form as well as the text itself.

Further down the page, they use icons like a heart and a circle to illustrate their pitch angles, and graphs to showcase their results. Rather than writing which publications have mentioned Porch.com during Fractl’s campaign, they incorporated the media outlets’ icons for further visual diversity.

Key Learnings from the Fractl Case Study Example

  • Let pictures speak for you by incorporating graphs, logos, and icons all throughout the case study.
  • Start the case study by right away stating the key results, like Fractl does, instead of putting the results all the way at the bottom.

6. " The Met ," by Fantasy

Case study example from Fantasy

What's the best way to showcase the responsiveness and user interface of a website? Probably by diving right into it with a series of simple showcases— which is exactly what Fantasy does on their case study page for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They keep the page simple and clean, inviting you to review their redesign of the Met’s website feature-by-feature.

Each section is simple, showing a single piece of the new website's interface so that users aren’t overwhelmed with information and can focus on what matters most.

If you're more interested in text, you can read the objective for each feature. Fantasy understands that, as a potential customer, this is all you need to know. Scrolling further, you're greeted with a simple "Contact Us" CTA.

Key Learnings from the Fantasy Case Study Example

  • You don’t have to write a ton of text to create a great case study. Focus on the solution you delivered itself.
  • Include a CTA at the bottom inviting visitors to contact you.

7. " Rovio: How Rovio Grew Into a Gaming Superpower ," by App Annie

Case study example from App Annie

If your client had a lot of positive things to say about you, take a note from App Annie’s Rovio case study and open up with a quote from your client. The case study also closes with a quote, so that the case study doesn’t seem like a promotion written by your marketing team but a story that’s taken straight from your client’s mouth. It includes a photo of a Rovio employee, too.

Another thing this example does well? It immediately includes a link to the product that Rovio used (namely, App Annie Intelligence) at the top of the case study. The case study closes with a call-to-action button prompting users to book a demo.

Key Learnings from the App Annie Case Study Example

  • Feature quotes from your client at the beginning and end of the case study.
  • Include a mention of the product right at the beginning and prompt users to learn more about the product.

8. " Embracing first-party data: 3 success stories from HubSpot ," by Think with Google

Case study examples: Think with Google and HubSpot

Google takes a different approach to text-focused case studies by choosing three different companies to highlight.

The case study is clean and easily scannable. It has sections for each company, with quotes and headers that clarify the way these three distinct stories connect. The simple format also uses colors and text that align with the Google brand.

Another differentiator is the focus on data. This case study is less than a thousand words, but it's packed with useful data points. Data-driven insights quickly and clearly show how the value of leveraging first-party data while prioritizing consumer privacy.

Case studies example: Data focus, Think with Google

Key Learnings from the Think with Google Case Study Example

  • A case study doesn’t need to be long or complex to be powerful.
  • Clear data points are a quick and effective way to prove value.

9. " In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study ," by Switch

Case study example from Switch

Switch is an international marketing agency based in Malta that knocks it out of the park with this case study. Its biggest challenge is effectively communicating what it did for its client without ever revealing the client’s name. It also effectively keeps non-marketers in the loop by including a glossary of terms on page 4.

The PDF case study reads like a compelling research article, including titles like "In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study," "Scenario," and "Approach," so that readers get a high-level overview of what the client needed and why they approached Switch. It also includes a different page for each strategy. For instance, if you’d only be interested in hiring Switch for optimizing your Facebook ads, you can skip to page 10 to see how they did it.

The PDF is fourteen pages long but features big fonts and plenty of white space, so viewers can easily skim it in only a few minutes.

Key Learnings from the Switch Case Study Example

  • If you want to go into specialized information, include a glossary of terms so that non-specialists can easily understand.
  • Close with a CTA page in your case study PDF and include contact information for prospective clients.

10. " Gila River ," by OH Partners

Case study example from OH Partners

Let pictures speak for you, like OH Partners did in this case study. While you’ll quickly come across a heading and some text when you land on this case study page, you’ll get the bulk of the case study through examples of actual work OH Partners did for its client. You will see OH Partners’ work in a billboard, magazine, and video. This communicates to website visitors that if they work with OH Partners, their business will be visible everywhere.

And like the other case studies here, it closes with a summary of what the firm achieved for its client in an eye-catching way.

Key Learnings from the OH Partners Case Study Example

  • Let the visuals speak by including examples of the actual work you did for your client — which is especially useful for branding and marketing agencies.
  • Always close out with your achievements and how they impacted your client.

11. " Facing a Hater ," by Digitas

Case study example from Digitas

Digitas' case study page for Sprite’s #ILOVEYOUHATER campaign keeps it brief while communicating the key facts of Digitas’ work for the popular soda brand. The page opens with an impactful image of a hundred people facing a single man. It turns out, that man is the biggest "bully" in Argentina, and the people facing him are those whom he’s bullied before.

Scrolling down, it's obvious that Digitas kept Sprite at the forefront of their strategy, but more than that, they used real people as their focal point. They leveraged the Twitter API to pull data from Tweets that people had actually tweeted to find the identity of the biggest "hater" in the country. That turned out to be @AguanteElCofler, a Twitter user who has since been suspended.

Key Learnings from the Digitas Case Study Example

  • If a video was part of your work for your client, be sure to include the most impactful screenshot as the heading.
  • Don’t be afraid to provide details on how you helped your client achieve their goals, including the tools you leveraged.

12. " Better Experiences for All ," by HermanMiller

Case study example from HermanMiller

HermanMiller sells sleek, utilitarian furniture with no frills and extreme functionality, and that ethos extends to its case study page for a hospital in Dubai.

What first attracted me to this case study was the beautiful video at the top and the clean user experience. User experience matters a lot in a case study. It determines whether users will keep reading or leave. Another notable aspect of this case study is that the video includes closed-captioning for greater accessibility, and users have the option of expanding the CC and searching through the text.

HermanMiller’s case study also offers an impressive amount of information packed in just a few short paragraphs for those wanting to understand the nuances of their strategy. It closes out with a quote from their client and, most importantly, the list of furniture products that the hospital purchased from the brand.

Key Learnings from the HermanMiller Case Study Example

  • Close out with a list of products that users can buy after reading the case study.
  • Include accessibility features such as closed captioning and night mode to make your case study more user-friendly.

13. " Capital One on AWS ," by Amazon

Case study example from Amazon AWS

Do you work continuously with your clients? Consider structuring your case study page like Amazon did in this stellar case study example. Instead of just featuring one article about Capital One and how it benefited from using AWS, Amazon features a series of articles that you can then access if you’re interested in reading more. It goes all the way back to 2016, all with different stories that feature Capital One’s achievements using AWS.

This may look unattainable for a small firm, but you don’t have to go to extreme measures and do it for every single one of your clients. You could choose the one you most wish to focus on and establish a contact both on your side and your client’s for coming up with the content. Check in every year and write a new piece. These don’t have to be long, either — five hundred to eight hundred words will do.

Key Learnings from the Amazon AWS Case Study Example

  • Write a new article each year featuring one of your clients, then include links to those articles in one big case study page.
  • Consider including external articles as well that emphasize your client’s success in their industry.

14. " HackReactor teaches the world to code #withAsana ," by Asana

Case study examples: Asana and HackReactor

While Asana's case study design looks text-heavy, there's a good reason. It reads like a creative story, told entirely from the customer's perspective.

For instance, Asana knows you won't trust its word alone on why this product is useful. So, they let Tony Phillips, HackReactor CEO, tell you instead: "We take in a lot of information. Our brains are awful at storage but very good at thinking; you really start to want some third party to store your information so you can do something with it."

Asana features frequent quotes from Phillips to break up the wall of text and humanize the case study. It reads like an in-depth interview and captivates the reader through creative storytelling. Even more, Asana includes in-depth detail about how HackReactor uses Asana. This includes how they build templates and workflows:

"There's a huge differentiator between Asana and other tools, and that’s the very easy API access. Even if Asana isn’t the perfect fit for a workflow, someone like me— a relatively mediocre software engineer—can add functionality via the API to build a custom solution that helps a team get more done."

Key Learnings from the Asana Example

  • Include quotes from your client throughout the case study.
  • Provide extensive detail on how your client worked with you or used your product.

15. " Rips Sewed, Brand Love Reaped ," by Amp Agency

Case study example from Amp Agency

Amp Agency's Patagonia marketing strategy aimed to appeal to a new audience through guerrilla marketing efforts and a coast-to-coast road trip. Their case study page effectively conveys a voyager theme, complete with real photos of Patagonia customers from across the U.S., and a map of the expedition. I liked Amp Agency's storytelling approach best. It captures viewers' attention from start to finish simply because it's an intriguing and unique approach to marketing.

Key Learnings from the Amp Agency Example

  • Open up with a summary that communicates who your client is and why they reached out to you.
  • Like in the other case study examples, you’ll want to close out with a quantitative list of your achievements.

16. " NetApp ," by Evisort

Case study examples: Evisort and NetApp

Evisort opens up its NetApp case study with an at-a-glance overview of the client. It’s imperative to always focus on the client in your case study — not on your amazing product and equally amazing team. By opening up with a snapshot of the client’s company, Evisort places the focus on the client.

This case study example checks all the boxes for a great case study that’s informative, thorough, and compelling. It includes quotes from the client and details about the challenges NetApp faced during the COVID pandemic. It closes out with a quote from the client and with a link to download the case study in PDF format, which is incredibly important if you want your case study to be accessible in a wider variety of formats.

Key Learnings from the Evisort Example

  • Place the focus immediately on your client by including a snapshot of their company.
  • Mention challenging eras, such as a pandemic or recession, to show how your company can help your client succeed even during difficult times.

17. " Copernicus Land Monitoring – CLC+ Core ," by Cloudflight

Case study example from Cloudflight

Including highly specialized information in your case study is an effective way to show prospects that you’re not just trying to get their business. You’re deep within their industry, too, and willing to learn everything you need to learn to create a solution that works specifically for them.

Cloudflight does a splendid job at that in its Copernicus Land Monitoring case study. While the information may be difficult to read at first glance, it will capture the interest of prospects who are in the environmental industry. It thus shows Cloudflight’s value as a partner much more effectively than a general case study would.

The page is comprehensive and ends with a compelling call-to-action — "Looking for a solution that automates, and enhances your Big Data system? Are you struggling with large datasets and accessibility? We would be happy to advise and support you!" The clean, whitespace-heavy page is an effective example of using a case study to capture future leads.

Key Learnings from the Cloudflight Case Study Example

  • Don’t be afraid to get technical in your explanation of what you did for your client.
  • Include a snapshot of the sales representative prospects should contact, especially if you have different sales reps for different industries, like Cloudflight does.

18. " Valvoline Increases Coupon Send Rate by 76% with Textel’s MMS Picture Texting ," by Textel

Case study example from Textel

If you’re targeting large enterprises with a long purchasing cycle, you’ll want to include a wealth of information in an easily transferable format. That’s what Textel does here in its PDF case study for Valvoline. It greets the user with an eye-catching headline that shows the value of using Textel. Valvoline saw a significant return on investment from using the platform.

Another smart decision in this case study is highlighting the client’s quote by putting it in green font and doing the same thing for the client’s results because it helps the reader quickly connect the two pieces of information. If you’re in a hurry, you can also take a look at the "At a Glance" column to get the key facts of the case study, starting with information about Valvoline.

Key Learnings from the Textel Case Study Example

  • Include your client’s ROI right in the title of the case study.
  • Add an "At a Glance" column to your case study PDF to make it easy to get insights without needing to read all the text.

19. " Hunt Club and Happeo — a tech-enabled love story ," by Happeo

Case study example from Happeo

In this blog-post-like case study, Happeo opens with a quote from the client, then dives into a compelling heading: "Technology at the forefront of Hunt Club's strategy." Say you’re investigating Happeo as a solution and consider your firm to be technology-driven. This approach would spark your curiosity about why the client chose to work with Happeo. It also effectively communicates the software’s value proposition without sounding like it’s coming from an in-house marketing team.

Every paragraph is a quote written from the customer’s perspective. Later down the page, the case study also dives into "the features that changed the game for Hunt Club," giving Happeo a chance to highlight some of the platform’s most salient features.

Key Learnings from the Happeo Case Study Example

  • Consider writing the entirety of the case study from the perspective of the customer.
  • Include a list of the features that convinced your client to go with you.

20. " Red Sox Season Campaign ," by CTP Boston

Case study example from CTP Boston

What's great about CTP's case study page for their Red Sox Season Campaign is their combination of video, images, and text. A video automatically begins playing when you visit the page, and as you scroll, you'll see more embedded videos of Red Sox players, a compilation of print ads, and social media images you can click to enlarge.

At the bottom, it says "Find out how we can do something similar for your brand." The page is clean, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing. It invites viewers to appreciate the well-roundedness of CTP's campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team.

Key Learnings from the CTP Case Study Example

  • Include a video in the heading of the case study.
  • Close with a call-to-action that makes leads want to turn into prospects.

21. " Acoustic ," by Genuine

Case study example from Genuine

Sometimes, simple is key. Genuine's case study for Acoustic is straightforward and minimal, with just a few short paragraphs, including "Reimagining the B2B website experience," "Speaking to marketers 1:1," and "Inventing Together." After the core of the case study, we then see a quote from Acoustic’s CMO and the results Genuine achieved for the company.

The simplicity of the page allows the reader to focus on both the visual aspects and the copy. The page displays Genuine's brand personality while offering the viewer all the necessary information they need.

  • You don’t need to write a lot to create a great case study. Keep it simple.
  • Always include quantifiable data to illustrate the results you achieved for your client.

22. " Using Apptio Targetprocess Automated Rules in Wargaming ," by Apptio

Case study example from Apptio

Apptio’s case study for Wargaming summarizes three key pieces of information right at the beginning: The goals, the obstacles, and the results.

Readers then have the opportunity to continue reading — or they can walk away right then with the information they need. This case study also excels in keeping the human interest factor by formatting the information like an interview.

The piece is well-organized and uses compelling headers to keep the reader engaged. Despite its length, Apptio's case study is appealing enough to keep the viewer's attention. Every Apptio case study ends with a "recommendation for other companies" section, where the client can give advice for other companies that are looking for a similar solution but aren’t sure how to get started.

Key Learnings from the Apptio Case Study Example

  • Put your client in an advisory role by giving them the opportunity to give recommendations to other companies that are reading the case study.
  • Include the takeaways from the case study right at the beginning so prospects quickly get what they need.

23. " Airbnb + Zendesk: building a powerful solution together ," by Zendesk

Case study example from Zendesk

Zendesk's Airbnb case study reads like a blog post, and focuses equally on Zendesk and Airbnb, highlighting a true partnership between the companies. To captivate readers, it begins like this: "Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend."

The piece focuses on telling a good story and provides photographs of beautiful Airbnb locations. In a case study meant to highlight Zendesk's helpfulness, nothing could be more authentic than their decision to focus on Airbnb's service in such great detail.

Key Learnings from the Zendesk Case Study Example

  • Include images of your client’s offerings — not necessarily of the service or product you provided. Notice how Zendesk doesn’t include screenshots of its product.
  • Include a call-to-action right at the beginning of the case study. Zendesk gives you two options: to find a solution or start a trial.

24. " Biobot Customer Success Story: Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida ," by Biobot

Case study example from Biobot

Like some of the other top examples in this list, Biobot opens its case study with a quote from its client, which captures the value proposition of working with Biobot. It mentions the COVID pandemic and goes into detail about the challenges the client faced during this time.

This case study is structured more like a news article than a traditional case study. This format can work in more formal industries where decision-makers need to see in-depth information about the case. Be sure to test different methods and measure engagement .

Key Learnings from the Biobot Case Study Example

  • Mention environmental, public health, or economic emergencies and how you helped your client get past such difficult times.
  • Feel free to write the case study like a normal blog post, but be sure to test different methods to find the one that best works for you.

25. " Discovering Cost Savings With Efficient Decision Making ," by Gartner

Case study example from Gartner

You don't always need a ton of text or a video to convey your message — sometimes, you just need a few paragraphs and bullet points. Gartner does a fantastic job of quickly providing the fundamental statistics a potential customer would need to know, without boggling down their readers with dense paragraphs. The case study closes with a shaded box that summarizes the impact that Gartner had on its client. It includes a quote and a call-to-action to "Learn More."

Key Learnings from the Gartner Case Study Example

  • Feel free to keep the case study short.
  • Include a call-to-action at the bottom that takes the reader to a page that most relates to them.

26. " Bringing an Operator to the Game ," by Redapt

Case study example from Redapt

This case study example by Redapt is another great demonstration of the power of summarizing your case study’s takeaways right at the start of the study. Redapt includes three easy-to-scan columns: "The problem," "the solution," and "the outcome." But its most notable feature is a section titled "Moment of clarity," which shows why this particular project was difficult or challenging.

The section is shaded in green, making it impossible to miss. Redapt does the same thing for each case study. In the same way, you should highlight the "turning point" for both you and your client when you were working toward a solution.

Key Learnings from the Redapt Case Study Example

  • Highlight the turning point for both you and your client during the solution-seeking process.
  • Use the same structure (including the same headings) for your case studies to make them easy to scan and read.

27. " Virtual Call Center Sees 300% Boost In Contact Rate ," by Convoso

Case study example from Convoso

Convoso’s PDF case study for Digital Market Media immediately mentions the results that the client achieved and takes advantage of white space. On the second page, the case study presents more influential results. It’s colorful and engaging and closes with a spread that prompts readers to request a demo.

Key Learnings from the Convoso Case Study Example

  • List the results of your work right at the beginning of the case study.
  • Use color to differentiate your case study from others. Convoso’s example is one of the most colorful ones on this list.

28. " Ensuring quality of service during a pandemic ," by Ericsson

Case study example from Ericsson

Ericsson’s case study page for Orange Spain is an excellent example of using diverse written and visual media — such as videos, graphs, and quotes — to showcase the success a client experienced. Throughout the case study, Ericsson provides links to product and service pages users might find relevant as they’re reading the study.

For instance, under the heading "Preloaded with the power of automation," Ericsson mentions its Ericsson Operations Engine product, then links to that product page. It closes the case study with a link to another product page.

Key Learnings from the Ericsson Case Study Example

  • Link to product pages throughout the case study so that readers can learn more about the solution you offer.
  • Use multimedia to engage users as they read the case study.

Start creating your case study.

Now that you've got a great list of examples of case studies, think about a topic you'd like to write about that highlights your company or work you did with a customer.

A customer’s success story is the most persuasive marketing material you could ever create. With a strong portfolio of case studies, you can ensure prospects know why they should give you their business.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Blog Case Study

How to Present a Case Study like a Pro (With Examples)

By Danesh Ramuthi , Sep 07, 2023

How Present a Case Study like a Pro

In today’s world, where data is king and persuasion is queen, a killer case study can change the game. Think high-powered meetings at fancy companies or even nailing that college presentation: a rock-solid case study could be the magic weapon you need.

Okay, let’s get real: case studies can be kinda snooze-worthy. But guess what? They don’t have to be!

In this article, you’ll learn all about crafting and presenting powerful case studies. From selecting the right metrics to using persuasive narrative techniques, I will cover every element that transforms a mere report into a compelling case study. 

And if you’re feeling a little lost, don’t worry! There are cool tools like Venngage’s Case Study Creator to help you whip up something awesome, even if you’re short on time. Plus, the pre-designed case study templates are like instant polish because let’s be honest, everyone loves a shortcut.

Click to jump ahead: 

What is a case study presentation?

Purpose of presenting a case study, how to structure a case study presentation, how long should a case study presentation be, 5 case study presentation templates, tips for delivering an effective case study presentation, common mistakes to avoid in a case study presentation, how to present a case study faqs.

A case study presentation involves a comprehensive examination of a specific subject, which could range from an individual, group, location, event, organization or phenomenon.

They’re like puzzles you get to solve with the audience, all while making you think outside the box.

Unlike a basic report or whitepaper, the purpose of a case study presentation is to stimulate critical thinking among the viewers. 

The primary objective of a case study is to provide an extensive and profound comprehension of the chosen topic. You don’t just throw numbers at your audience. You use examples and real-life cases to make you think and see things from different angles.

good case study format

The primary purpose of presenting a case study is to offer a comprehensive, evidence-based argument that informs, persuades and engages your audience.

Here’s the juicy part: presenting that case study can be your secret weapon. Whether you’re pitching a groundbreaking idea to a room full of suits or trying to impress your professor with your A-game, a well-crafted case study can be the magic dust that sprinkles brilliance over your words.

Think of it like digging into a puzzle you can’t quite crack . A case study lets you explore every piece, turn it over and see how it fits together. This close-up look helps you understand the whole picture, not just a blurry snapshot.

It’s also your chance to showcase how you analyze things, step by step, until you reach a conclusion. It’s all about being open and honest about how you got there.

Besides, presenting a case study gives you an opportunity to connect data and real-world scenarios in a compelling narrative. It helps to make your argument more relatable and accessible, increasing its impact on your audience.

One of the contexts where case studies can be very helpful is during the job interview. In some job interviews, you as candidates may be asked to present a case study as part of the selection process.

Having a case study presentation prepared allows the candidate to demonstrate their ability to understand complex issues, formulate strategies and communicate their ideas effectively.

Case Study Example Psychology

The way you present a case study can make all the difference in how it’s received. A well-structured presentation not only holds the attention of your audience but also ensures that your key points are communicated clearly and effectively.

In this section, let’s go through the key steps that’ll help you structure your case study presentation for maximum impact.

Let’s get into it. 

Open with an introductory overview 

Start by introducing the subject of your case study and its relevance. Explain why this case study is important and who would benefit from the insights gained. This is your opportunity to grab your audience’s attention.

Explain the problem in question

Dive into the problem or challenge that the case study focuses on. Provide enough background information for the audience to understand the issue. If possible, quantify the problem using data or metrics to show the magnitude or severity.

Detail the solutions to solve the problem

After outlining the problem, describe the steps taken to find a solution. This could include the methodology, any experiments or tests performed and the options that were considered. Make sure to elaborate on why the final solution was chosen over the others.

Key stakeholders Involved

Talk about the individuals, groups or organizations that were directly impacted by or involved in the problem and its solution. 

Stakeholders may experience a range of outcomes—some may benefit, while others could face setbacks.

For example, in a business transformation case study, employees could face job relocations or changes in work culture, while shareholders might be looking at potential gains or losses.

Discuss the key results & outcomes

Discuss the results of implementing the solution. Use data and metrics to back up your statements. Did the solution meet its objectives? What impact did it have on the stakeholders? Be honest about any setbacks or areas for improvement as well.

Include visuals to support your analysis

Visual aids can be incredibly effective in helping your audience grasp complex issues. Utilize charts, graphs, images or video clips to supplement your points. Make sure to explain each visual and how it contributes to your overall argument.

Pie charts illustrate the proportion of different components within a whole, useful for visualizing market share, budget allocation or user demographics.

This is particularly useful especially if you’re displaying survey results in your case study presentation.

good case study format

Stacked charts on the other hand are perfect for visualizing composition and trends. This is great for analyzing things like customer demographics, product breakdowns or budget allocation in your case study.

Consider this example of a stacked bar chart template. It provides a straightforward summary of the top-selling cake flavors across various locations, offering a quick and comprehensive view of the data.

good case study format

Not the chart you’re looking for? Browse Venngage’s gallery of chart templates to find the perfect one that’ll captivate your audience and level up your data storytelling.

Recommendations and next steps

Wrap up by providing recommendations based on the case study findings. Outline the next steps that stakeholders should take to either expand on the success of the project or address any remaining challenges.

Acknowledgments and references

Thank the people who contributed to the case study and helped in the problem-solving process. Cite any external resources, reports or data sets that contributed to your analysis.

Feedback & Q&A session

Open the floor for questions and feedback from your audience. This allows for further discussion and can provide additional insights that may not have been considered previously.

Closing remarks

Conclude the presentation by summarizing the key points and emphasizing the takeaways. Thank your audience for their time and participation and express your willingness to engage in further discussions or collaborations on the subject.

good case study format

Well, the length of a case study presentation can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the needs of your audience. However, a typical business or academic presentation often lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. 

This time frame usually allows for a thorough explanation of the case while maintaining audience engagement. However, always consider leaving a few minutes at the end for a Q&A session to address any questions or clarify points made during the presentation.

When it comes to presenting a compelling case study, having a well-structured template can be a game-changer. 

It helps you organize your thoughts, data and findings in a coherent and visually pleasing manner. 

Not all case studies are created equal and different scenarios require distinct approaches for maximum impact. 

To save you time and effort, I have curated a list of 5 versatile case study presentation templates, each designed for specific needs and audiences. 

Here are some best case study presentation examples that showcase effective strategies for engaging your audience and conveying complex information clearly.

1) Lab report case study template

Ever feel like your research gets lost in a world of endless numbers and jargon? Lab case studies are your way out!

Think of it as building a bridge between your cool experiment and everyone else. It’s more than just reporting results – it’s explaining the “why” and “how” in a way that grabs attention and makes sense.

This lap report template acts as a blueprint for your report, guiding you through each essential section (introduction, methods, results, etc.) in a logical order.

College Lab Report Template - Introduction

2) Product case study template

It’s time you ditch those boring slideshows and bullet points because I’ve got a better way to win over clients: product case study templates.

Instead of just listing features and benefits, you get to create a clear and concise story that shows potential clients exactly what your product can do for them. It’s like painting a picture they can easily visualize, helping them understand the value your product brings to the table.

Grab the template below, fill in the details, and watch as your product’s impact comes to life!

good case study format

3) Content marketing case study template

In digital marketing, showcasing your accomplishments is as vital as achieving them. 

A well-crafted case study not only acts as a testament to your successes but can also serve as an instructional tool for others. 

With this coral content marketing case study template—a perfect blend of vibrant design and structured documentation, you can narrate your marketing triumphs effectively.

good case study format

4) Case study psychology template

Understanding how people tick is one of psychology’s biggest quests and case studies are like magnifying glasses for the mind. They offer in-depth looks at real-life behaviors, emotions and thought processes, revealing fascinating insights into what makes us human.

Writing a top-notch case study, though, can be a challenge. It requires careful organization, clear presentation and meticulous attention to detail. That’s where a good case study psychology template comes in handy.

Think of it as a helpful guide, taking care of formatting and structure while you focus on the juicy content. No more wrestling with layouts or margins – just pour your research magic into crafting a compelling narrative.

good case study format

5) Lead generation case study template

Lead generation can be a real head-scratcher. But here’s a little help: a lead generation case study.

Think of it like a friendly handshake and a confident resume all rolled into one. It’s your chance to showcase your expertise, share real-world successes and offer valuable insights. Potential clients get to see your track record, understand your approach and decide if you’re the right fit.

No need to start from scratch, though. This lead generation case study template guides you step-by-step through crafting a clear, compelling narrative that highlights your wins and offers actionable tips for others. Fill in the gaps with your specific data and strategies, and voilà! You’ve got a powerful tool to attract new customers.

Modern Lead Generation Business Case Study Presentation Template

Related: 15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]

So, you’ve spent hours crafting the perfect case study and are now tasked with presenting it. Crafting the case study is only half the battle; delivering it effectively is equally important. 

Whether you’re facing a room of executives, academics or potential clients, how you present your findings can make a significant difference in how your work is received. 

Forget boring reports and snooze-inducing presentations! Let’s make your case study sing. Here are some key pointers to turn information into an engaging and persuasive performance:

  • Know your audience : Tailor your presentation to the knowledge level and interests of your audience. Remember to use language and examples that resonate with them.
  • Rehearse : Rehearsing your case study presentation is the key to a smooth delivery and for ensuring that you stay within the allotted time. Practice helps you fine-tune your pacing, hone your speaking skills with good word pronunciations and become comfortable with the material, leading to a more confident, conversational and effective presentation.
  • Start strong : Open with a compelling introduction that grabs your audience’s attention. You might want to use an interesting statistic, a provocative question or a brief story that sets the stage for your case study.
  • Be clear and concise : Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences. Get to the point quickly and stay focused on your objectives.
  • Use visual aids : Incorporate slides with graphics, charts or videos to supplement your verbal presentation. Make sure they are easy to read and understand.
  • Tell a story : Use storytelling techniques to make the case study more engaging. A well-told narrative can help you make complex data more relatable and easier to digest.

good case study format

Ditching the dry reports and slide decks? Venngage’s case study templates let you wow customers with your solutions and gain insights to improve your business plan. Pre-built templates, visual magic and customer captivation – all just a click away. Go tell your story and watch them say “wow!”

Crafting and presenting a case study is a skillful task that requires careful planning and execution. While a well-prepared case study can be a powerful tool for showcasing your successes, educating your audience or encouraging discussion, there are several pitfalls you should avoid to make your presentation as effective as possible. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

Overloading with information

A case study is not an encyclopedia. Overloading your presentation with excessive data, text or jargon can make it cumbersome and difficult for the audience to digest the key points. Stick to what’s essential and impactful.

Lack of structure

Jumping haphazardly between points or topics can confuse your audience. A well-structured presentation, with a logical flow from introduction to conclusion, is crucial for effective communication.

Ignoring the audience

Different audiences have different needs and levels of understanding. Failing to adapt your presentation to your audience can result in a disconnect and a less impactful presentation.

Poor visual elements

While content is king, poor design or lack of visual elements can make your case study dull or hard to follow. Make sure you use high-quality images, graphs and other visual aids to support your narrative.

Not focusing on results

A case study aims to showcase a problem and its solution, but what most people care about are the results. Failing to highlight or adequately explain the outcomes can make your presentation fall flat.

How to start a case study presentation?

Starting a case study presentation effectively involves a few key steps:

  • Grab attention : Open with a hook—an intriguing statistic, a provocative question or a compelling visual—to engage your audience from the get-go.
  • Set the stage : Briefly introduce the subject, context and relevance of the case study to give your audience an idea of what to expect.
  • Outline objectives : Clearly state what the case study aims to achieve. Are you solving a problem, proving a point or showcasing a success?
  • Agenda : Give a quick outline of the key sections or topics you’ll cover to help the audience follow along.
  • Set expectations : Let your audience know what you want them to take away from the presentation, whether it’s knowledge, inspiration or a call to action.

How to present a case study on PowerPoint and on Google Slides?

Presenting a case study on PowerPoint and Google Slides involves a structured approach for clarity and impact using presentation slides:

  • Title slide : Start with a title slide that includes the name of the case study, your name and any relevant institutional affiliations.
  • Introduction : Follow with a slide that outlines the problem or situation your case study addresses. Include a hook to engage the audience.
  • Objectives : Clearly state the goals of the case study in a dedicated slide.
  • Findings : Use charts, graphs and bullet points to present your findings succinctly.
  • Analysis : Discuss what the findings mean, drawing on supporting data or secondary research as necessary.
  • Conclusion : Summarize key takeaways and results.
  • Q&A : End with a slide inviting questions from the audience.

What’s the role of analysis in a case study presentation?

The role of analysis in a case study presentation is to interpret the data and findings, providing context and meaning to them. 

It helps your audience understand the implications of the case study, connects the dots between the problem and the solution and may offer recommendations for future action.

Is it important to include real data and results in the presentation?

Yes, including real data and results in a case study presentation is crucial to show experience,  credibility and impact. Authentic data lends weight to your findings and conclusions, enabling the audience to trust your analysis and take your recommendations more seriously

How do I conclude a case study presentation effectively?

To conclude a case study presentation effectively, summarize the key findings, insights and recommendations in a clear and concise manner. 

End with a strong call-to-action or a thought-provoking question to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

What’s the best way to showcase data in a case study presentation ?

The best way to showcase data in a case study presentation is through visual aids like charts, graphs and infographics which make complex information easily digestible, engaging and creative. 

Don’t just report results, visualize them! This template for example lets you transform your social media case study into a captivating infographic that sparks conversation.

good case study format

Choose the type of visual that best represents the data you’re showing; for example, use bar charts for comparisons or pie charts for parts of a whole. 

Ensure that the visuals are high-quality and clearly labeled, so the audience can quickly grasp the key points. 

Keep the design consistent and simple, avoiding clutter or overly complex visuals that could distract from the message.

Choose a template that perfectly suits your case study where you can utilize different visual aids for maximum impact. 

Need more inspiration on how to turn numbers into impact with the help of infographics? Our ready-to-use infographic templates take the guesswork out of creating visual impact for your case studies with just a few clicks.

Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert

Congrats on mastering the art of compelling case study presentations! This guide has equipped you with all the essentials, from structure and nuances to avoiding common pitfalls. You’re ready to impress any audience, whether in the boardroom, the classroom or beyond.

And remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Venngage’s Case Study Creator is your trusty companion, ready to elevate your presentations from ordinary to extraordinary. So, let your confidence shine, leverage your newly acquired skills and prepare to deliver presentations that truly resonate.

Go forth and make a lasting impact!

How to Write a Great Business Case

Explore more.

  • Case Teaching

C ase studies are powerful teaching tools. “When you have a good case, and students who are well prepared to learn and to teach each other, you get some magical moments that students will never forget,” says James L. Heskett, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics, emeritus, at Harvard Business School (HBS). “They will remember the lessons they learn in that class discussion and apply them 20 years later.”

Yet, for many educators who want to pen their own case, the act of writing a great business case seldom comes easily or naturally. For starters, it’s time consuming. Case writers can spend substantial time visiting companies, securing a willing site, conducting interviews, observing operations, collecting data, reviewing notes, writing the case, revising the narrative, ensuring that teaching points come through, and then getting executives to approve the finished product.

The question, then, becomes: Where do you begin? How do you approach case writing? How do you decide which company to use as the subject of the case? And what distinguishes a well-written case from a mediocre one?

We asked three expert HBS case writers—who collectively have written and supported hundreds of cases—to share their insights on how to write a great business case study that will inspire passionate classroom discussion and transmit key educational concepts.

Insights from James L. Heskett

UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

Keep your eyes open for a great business issue.

“I’m always on the prowl for new case material. Whenever I’m reading or consulting, I look for interesting people doing interesting things and facing interesting challenges. For instance, I was reading a magazine and came across a story about how Shouldice Hospital treated patients undergoing surgery to fix inguinal hernias—how patients would get up from the operating table and walk away on the arm of the surgeon.

6 QUALITIES OF GREAT CASE WRITERS

Comfort with ambiguity, since cases may have more than one “right” answer

Command of the topic or subject at hand

Ability to relate to the case protagonists

Enthusiasm for the case teaching method

Capacity for finding the drama in a business situation and making it feel personal to students

Build relationships with executives.

“When writing a case, it’s helpful to start as high in the organization as possible. It helps assure mid-level managers that they can share the information you need with an outsider. It also helps when it comes to getting the case cleared for use. Serving on corporate boards can help in building relationships with senior executives, but there are other ways to make those connections. For instance, you can approach speakers at business conferences if you think their presentations could form the basis for a good business case. If you want to write about a company where you don’t have any personal connections, you can always check with your colleagues to see if any of them have a personal relationship with the CEO or sit on a board where they could introduce you to the right person who would be able to facilitate the case. My colleagues and I make a lot of these introductions for each other.”

“If you make the case into a crossword puzzle that takes five hours to solve, it’s not really fair to the students and will most likely cause them to lose focus.” James L. Heskett

Skip the curveballs and focus on key issues.

“Cases don’t have to be obvious. As a pedagogical objective, you might want students to look beyond a superficial issue to say this is the underlying topic that we need to address, and these are the questions we need to pose. Still, I think it’s unhelpful if cases contain real curveballs where ‘unlocking’ the case depends on finding some small piece of information hidden in an exhibit. Give students a break! They may have to read and digest three cases per day, so they probably won’t be able to devote more than a couple of hours to each one. If you make the case into a crossword puzzle that takes five hours to solve, it’s not really fair to the students and will most likely cause them to lose focus.”

Build a discussion plan while writing the case.

“In case method teaching, the teacher is not in complete control. Students teach each other and learn from each other. On any given day, there will likely be somebody in the room who knows more about the company featured in the case than the professor does. So a professor can’t walk into the classroom and expect to impose a lesson plan that goes in a strict linear way from A to B to C to D. The case ought to be written to allow students to jump from A to D and then come back later to B if that’s how the discussion plays out. At the same time, the case should be structured so that the instructor can collect student comments on a board, organizing them as a coherent set of related ideas, and then deliver a 5-to-10-minute summary that communicates whatever essential concepts the case has covered. This summation can be a very powerful teaching and learning experience.”

Focus on quality over quantity.

“Cases don’t have to be too long. Some good cases are only two or three pages. Students may give more scrutiny to these brief cases than they would a 20-page case.”

Advice from Benson P. Shapiro

Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

Take out the chaff in advance.

“You don’t want students to spend too much time separating the wheat from the chaff. If a case has 12 pages of text and 10 pages of exhibits, even the smartest MBA students will likely lose interest. Writers who try to capture a situation from every angle and in every detail end up with sprawling narratives that usually do not make a good case. When writing cases, you need to set good, strong boundaries. Avoid superfluous, flowery, or poetic material that may contain interesting anecdotes or factoids, but that could distract readers from the case’s core topics. Include only those important and useful details that can help students make decisions and understand key issues that the case explores.”

Work in layers and metaphors—subtly.

“The best cases work on multiple levels. A case should focus on a specific situation—for example, whether or not to introduce a certain product. But it should also serve as a metaphor for broader issues in the background: How do we think about introducing new products? Are we introducing enough products? Are new product introductions a source of competitive advantage in our industry? How should we organize and manage new product development? You want the case to encourage students to think broadly about the various cultural, financial, and strategic impacts that managerial decisions have on a company.”

“Writers who try to capture a situation from every angle and in every detail end up with sprawling narratives that usually do not make a good case.” Benson P. Shapiro

Encourage emotional engagement.

“Case writing is an interesting literary form—it needs to be very engaging, but also educational. Great cases revolve around points of contention on which intelligent people can hold different points of view: What should you do? Why? How do you get it done? Ideally, students should have to choose between two very attractive alternatives or two terrible alternatives. The best cases involve questions that get students emotionally engaged so that they really care about choices and outcomes. When you see students physically leaning forward and following what their peers are saying, you know that they have a visceral feel for the importance of the subject. When you hear them debating after class— You were out in left field! You missed what was really important here! —that’s how you can tell you succeeded in developing a great case.”

Lessons from Carin-Isabel Knoop

Executive Director of the Case Research & Writing Group, Harvard Business School

Don’t forget the classroom component.

“Cases are deliberately incomplete documents. What a case writer leaves out of a case is often just as important as what he or she puts into it. Cases are designed to be completed through classroom instruction and discussion. While drafting the case, try to develop the classroom process in parallel. Work on the assignment questions and classroom content. Keep in mind that the case should be able to adapt to your classroom and course needs.”

Hone your elevator pitch.

“Before getting started, always have clear, succinct learning objectives in mind. Don’t start developing the case until you are able to summarize these objectives in less than five minutes.”

Case writing is a relationship, not a transaction.

When choosing a case site, be clear with executives that you are developing a teaching tool and that you will require their time and candor—and eventually their data. Put them at ease, and manage the authorization process, right from the start. Indicate that quotes will be cleared before publication and there will be time for individual review. During the creation process, ask their advice. This creates a process of engagement and helps bring home that this is a pedagogical tool, not gotcha journalism. At HBS, we oftentimes invite someone from the company to attend class. Finally, once the case is done, stay in touch with your case protagonists. They will move to other organizations and spread the good word about their experience with case writing.

Invite disagreement in case discussions.

“The case study method is based on participant-centered learning. The students all start from the same base of 11 (or however many) pages in the case, but they bring different knowledge and experiences into the classroom. So they can take the same facts and disagree about what course of action to pursue. We want students to behave like decision makers, and it can be painful to make decisions. Some critics deride the case teaching method as being unrealistic, but someone who just lectures about marketing doesn’t help students realize how difficult it is to choose between two plausible options to meet the same marketing objectives. For students, a big part of the education process is learning from discussions with classmates who think differently and advocate for different solutions. Witnessing a robust case discussion reminds us of the potential for collective learning to emerge from contrasting views.”

“Faculty don’t just write cases for teaching purposes, they write them to learn.” Carin-Isabel Knoop

The Case Writing Process Is a Worthy Effort

Researching, writing, and publishing cases is well worth the time and effort. “The case research and writing process is important for faculty development,” Knoop adds. “While developing field cases, faculty go to site visits and meet with decision makers. The case writing process helps connect scholars to practitioners and practitioners to the academic world. Faculty case writers get to explore and test how their academic theories work in practice. So faculty don’t just write cases for teaching purposes, they write them to learn. The case method is an integral part of faculty development.”

There’s another big bonus to becoming a case writer, especially for younger educators. “Young business instructors face a credibility gap with their students,” says Heskett. “It’s not uncommon to have MBA students in a class who have more experience than the instructor on a particular subject. Once you go into the field and write a case, you will know more about that subject than anyone else in the class. A primary way for professors to establish their credibility on a topic is to have written the case the class is discussing that day.”

James L. Heskett

James L. Heskett is UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics, emeritus, at Harvard Business School. He completed his Ph.D. at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and has been a faculty member at The Ohio State University as well as president of Logistics Systems, Inc. Since 2000, he has authored a blog on Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge website .

Benson P. Shapiro

Benson P. Shapiro is the Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, emeritus, at Harvard Business School where he taught full time from 1970 to 1997. Since 1997, Shapiro has concentrated his professional time on consulting, giving speeches, serving on boards, and writing. He continues to teach at Harvard and has taught in many executive programs and has chaired the Sustainable Marketing Leadership for Mid-Sized Firms Program.

Carin-Isabel Knoop

Carin-Isabel Knoop is the executive director of the Case Research & Writing Group at Harvard Business School. She is also coauthor of Compassionate Management of Mental Health in the Modern Workplace .

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  • Published: 12 February 2024

Markers of imminent myocardial infarction

  • Stefan Gustafsson 1   na1 ,
  • Erik Lampa 1   na1 ,
  • Karin Jensevik Eriksson   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1946-7068 2 ,
  • Adam S. Butterworth   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6915-9015 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ,
  • Sölve Elmståhl 7 ,
  • Gunnar Engström 7 ,
  • Kristian Hveem 8 , 9 ,
  • Mattias Johansson 10 ,
  • Arnulf Langhammer 8 , 11 ,
  • Lars Lind 1 ,
  • Kristi Läll 12 ,
  • Giovanna Masala 13 ,
  • Andres Metspalu 12 ,
  • Conchi Moreno-Iribas 14 , 15 ,
  • Peter M. Nilsson 7 ,
  • Markus Perola 16 ,
  • Birgit Simell 16 ,
  • Hemmo Sipsma 17 ,
  • Bjørn Olav Åsvold 8 , 9 , 18 ,
  • Erik Ingelsson 1 ,
  • Ulf Hammar 1 , 19 ,
  • Andrea Ganna 20 , 21 , 22 ,
  • Bodil Svennblad 2 , 23 ,
  • Tove Fall 1 , 19 &
  • Johan Sundström   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2247-8454 1 , 24  

Nature Cardiovascular Research volume  3 ,  pages 130–139 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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  • Myocardial infarction
  • Prognostic markers

Myocardial infarction is a leading cause of death globally but is notoriously difficult to predict. We aimed to identify biomarkers of an imminent first myocardial infarction and design relevant prediction models. Here, we constructed a new case–cohort consortium of 2,018 persons without prior cardiovascular disease from six European cohorts, among whom 420 developed a first myocardial infarction within 6 months after the baseline blood draw. We analyzed 817 proteins and 1,025 metabolites in biobanked blood and 16 clinical variables. Forty-eight proteins, 43 metabolites, age, sex and systolic blood pressure were associated with the risk of an imminent first myocardial infarction. Brain natriuretic peptide was most consistently associated with the risk of imminent myocardial infarction. Using clinically readily available variables, we devised a prediction model for an imminent first myocardial infarction for clinical use in the general population, with good discriminatory performance and potential for motivating primary prevention efforts.

Despite declining age-standardized rates, myocardial infarction remains the leading and increasing cause of death globally 1 . Prevention of myocardial infarction is highly prioritized 2 , but the targeting of primary preventive efforts is hampered by inefficient means of identifying individuals at the highest risk for an imminent myocardial infarction (IMI). This could be partially explained by the inability of most risk prediction models to account for the highly dynamic nature of the period leading up to a myocardial infarction. For instance, traumatic events, such as a cancer diagnosis or loss of a spouse, markedly increase the risk of myocardial infarction 3 , 4 . In addition, the degree of stenosis in the culprit lesion in the coronary artery appears to increase in the months just before the myocardial infarction 5 . Nonetheless, to date, most biomarkers have been investigated over several years of follow-up because of a low number of individuals with a first myocardial infarction shortly after baseline in the general population. Hence, a large population-based study focusing on identifying biomarkers of an IMI is needed.

Primary prevention for asymptomatic risk factors over a long period is costly, and motivation among patients and providers is limited even for secondary prevention 6 . Risk prediction in the short term based on biomarkers of IMI might tilt the scales for prevention, as the knowledge of an increased risk of a first myocardial infarction within the ensuing few months might motivate patients and doctors to consider preventive strategies.

We hypothesized that circulating biomarkers of the dynamic biological processes that operate in the months preceding a myocardial infarction could be measured and used to assess risk. We tested this in a new nested case–cohort study and devised a prediction model for an imminent first myocardial infarction.

We assembled a new nested case–cohort study, the Markers of Imminent Myocardial Infarction (MIMI) study. The study includes initially cardiovascular disease-free individuals in six European general population-based cohorts who developed a myocardial infarction within the first 6 months after the baseline examination, with up to four cohort representatives per case (Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 1 ). The case–cohort design allows for time-to-event analyses and derivation of accurate prediction models; it is also less prone to certain biases than the case–control design 7 . After exclusions, data of 2,018 individuals weighted to represent the full cohort of 169,053 persons were available for analysis (420 IMI cases and 1,598 subcohort representatives). Their characteristics at baseline are shown in Extended Data Table 1 .

figure 1

The distribution of MIMI participants across Europe is shown, with the participating countries and cohort centers indicated. Cases ( n  = 420) were initially sampled, and center-specific strata based on sex and median age were constructed. From each cohort center, up to four subcohort representatives were drawn for each case from the same stratum. A subcohort ( n  = 1,598) weighted to represent the total cohort ( N  = 169,053) based on the number of individuals in the age and sex strata in the total cohort was thus assembled. NA, not applicable.

Thereafter, we determined the levels of 817 proteins (some duplicates) and 1,025 metabolites in biobanked plasma samples from the cohort baseline examinations in a core laboratory and harmonized 16 clinical variables between the cohorts. We divided the study sample into a discovery sample (EpiHealth, Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) and Lifelines; 70% of the sample) and an external validation sample (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition—Cardiovascular Disease (EPIC-CVD), Estonian Biobank study and Malmö Preventive Project (MFM); 30% of the sample). Considering the limited sample size of the study, we also performed an internal validation as an exploratory analysis by randomly splitting the study sample into a 70:30 discovery/validation sample, repeated in 100 random draws.

We investigated the associations of proteins, metabolites and clinical variables with the risk of a first myocardial infarction within 6 months after baseline using weighted, stratified Cox proportional-hazards regression models in the discovery sample. Biomarkers that passed multiple testing bounds (a Benjamini–Hochberg false discovery rate (FDR) of <0.05) were verified in the same models in the validation sample (this was done in the external and internal validation sets), with directionally consistent results at P  < 0.05 considered replicated.

In one-by-one models adjusting for technical covariates (season, storage time and plate; Fig. 2 ), 48 proteins, 43 metabolites and 3 clinical variables (age, sex and systolic blood pressure) were found to be associated with IMI after the discovery–validation process (Fig. 3 and Supplementary Table 2 ).

figure 2

The associations of 817 proteins, 1,025 metabolites and 16 clinical variables with the risk of a first myocardial infarction within 6 months in the full MIMI study, adjusted for technical covariates, are shown by biomarker category (clinical, metabolite or protein). HR relates to a doubling of the concentration of proteins and metabolites and a one-unit higher level of clinical biomarkers on their original scale (for example, years, mmol l −1 ). The top 25 biomarkers that passed external validation and ranked on how many internal validation splits the biomarker passed the replication criteria in the model adjusted for technical covariates in addition to the external validation are highlighted. a IL-6 and b KIM1 were measured on multiple Olink panels and tested in separate statistical tests. n  = 420 cases and 1,598 noncases.

figure 3

The top 25 biomarkers that passed external validation and ranked on how many internal validation splits the biomarker passed the replication criteria in the model adjusted for technical covariates in addition to the external validation are shown. Each predictor is represented by two rows, with the discovery result (blue) presented first and the validation result presented second (red). The results are sorted by predictor type (clinical, metabolite or protein) and effect size from the combined analysis of the discovery and validation samples. P value was calculated based on a 2 d.f. Wald test for metabolites analyzed using the missing indicator method (biomarker and missing indicator) and a 1 d.f. Wald test otherwise (biomarker only), two-sided in both cases. The 95% CI of the point estimate (log(HR)) was calculated for the biomarker only and might include 1 even if P  < 0.05 from the 2 d.f. (biomarker + indicator) Wald test. a IL-6 and b KIM1 values were determined from multiple Olink panels and tested in separate statistical tests. n  = 296 cases and 1,121 noncases in the discovery sample; n  = 124 cases and 477 noncases in the validation sample.

Thereafter, we investigated promising markers in models further adjusting for age and sex. Among them, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) was the only biomarker with a borderline significant association with IMI (HR per doubling of BNP level (95% confidence interval (95% CI)) = 1.33 (1.15, 1.55), P  = 1.63 × 10 −4 , FDR = 0.11 in the discovery sample and 1.40 (1.00, 1.94), P  = 0.049 in the validation sample; Extended Data Fig. 2 ). BNP was the only biomarker with a suggestive association in the internal validation, passing the formal replication criteria in 22 of 100 random splits. By comparison, stem cell factor (SCF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), biomarkers with a weaker support of an association, replicated in only 5 or 4 of 100 random splits. The cumulative hazard of IMI by fourths of BNP is shown in Extended Data Fig. 3 . The associations of BNP with IMI in sensitivity analyses excluding one cohort at a time and in a random-effects meta-analysis were similar, as shown in Extended Data Figs. 4 and 5 . For some of the 94 variables, we observed substantial between-cohort heterogeneity in the estimates when they were evaluated in a random-effects meta-analysis (Supplementary Table 3 ). The addition of interaction terms between sex and the biomarkers did not reveal any additional associations. Associations with IMI within 3 months (185 cases) were similar to those within 6 months (Extended Data Fig. 6 ).

In a model investigating the total effect of the BNP–IMI association (with a priori selected confounders, not mediators, according to Extended Data Fig. 1 ), adjusting for age, sex, weight, height, creatinine and systolic blood pressure, the association of BNP with IMI remained similar (HR (95% CI) = 1.34 (1.14, 1.57), P  = 3.12 × 10 −4 in the discovery sample and 1.51 (1.05, 2.18), P  = 0.028 in the validation sample; per doubling of BNP level).

We then investigated the association of the most promising marker, BNP, with the coronary artery calcium score (CACS) at a cardiac computer tomography examination in an external population-based cohort of 1,586 participants of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS) who were free from self-reported cardiovascular disease. Here, a higher CACS was not notably associated with a higher BNP level (odds ratio (95% CI) = 1.14 (0.91, 1.42), P  = 0.25; per doubling of BNP level) in an ordinal regression model adjusting for the same covariates as in the total-effects model.

Finally, we investigated the possibility of developing a clinical risk prediction algorithm for a first IMI using clinically available variables and a weighted Cox ridge regression model. The prediction model achieved an internally validated C-index of 0.78, indicating a good ability to discriminate between IMI cases and noncases. When validating the model in the UK Biobank, a C-index of 0.82 was obtained, while a calibration plot showed some overestimation of 6-month IMI risks. As a comparison, the recalibrated SCORE2 achieved C-indexes of 0.77 (MIMI cohort) and 0.81 (UK Biobank) and overestimated the IMI risks in both samples (Extended Data Fig. 7 ). A nomogram based on the model is shown in Fig. 4 , with a worked example of its intended use displayed in Extended Data Fig. 8 and its cross-validated calibration presented in Extended Data Fig. 7 . An interactive web application is presented at miscore.org . Coefficients for predicting IMI from the model are shown in Supplementary Table 4 .

figure 4

A nomogram for predicting IMI risk based on the final clinical model is shown. Each variable value contributes points (ruler at the top) that are summed up and translated to the predicted risk of a myocardial infarction within 6 months (bottom two rulers). Equation, β coefficients, 6-month survival and mean variable values are provided in Supplementary Table 4 . A worked example is shown in Extended Data Fig. 8 . The model is also presented as an interactive web application at miscore.org.

No biomarkers improved risk prediction in a LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) Cox regression model; the variable selection by the LASSO was unstable, with the 95% bootstrap CI on the model size being 0–128 variables. No biomarkers improved risk prediction in a random forest model using 2,000 trees; it also ranked BNP and N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP) at the top but with very large CIs (Supplementary Table 5 ).

We here set out to identify and test biomarkers and the predictability of an imminent first myocardial infarction using a new case–cohort consortium of individuals without prior cardiovascular disease and with biobanked blood samples. From more than 1,800 biomarkers, we identified 48 proteins, 43 metabolites and 3 clinical variables associated with the risk of an imminent first myocardial infarction independent of technical covariates. Further analyses revealed BNP as the only biomarker consistently associated with IMI risk. We also derived a prediction model to discriminate between subsequent cases and noncases. The IMI phenotype has rarely been studied prospectively in the general population and with a broad panel of biomarkers. The findings may have implications for both clinical primary prevention studies and further etiological studies.

In the current study, higher BNP levels in individuals without a known cardiovascular disease were linked to a higher risk of a first myocardial infarction within 6 months in several models. Cardiomyocytes produce BNP in response to strain 8 , and NT-proBNP measurement is a pillar of the clinical management of heart failure 9 but is not used in diagnosing myocardial infarction 10 . Diastolic dysfunction is an early feature of myocardial ischemia, and a higher BNP level in this context is likely underpinned by diastolic dysfunction caused by subclinical ischemia 11 in individuals with some degree of coronary stenosis. This is supported by the weak association of BNP and CACS observed herein, although the association should be interpreted carefully. The noncausal explanation is further supported by the noncausality suggested by Mendelian randomization studies (acknowledging that associations of genetically determined lifelong BNP levels with coronary disease may have limited relevance to a temporally boxed-in series of events): a genetic variant affecting the expression of the BNP gene ( NPPB , rs198389) is not associated with cardiovascular endpoints 12 or coronary artery disease 13 . The influence of chance on the finding is low, as NT-proBNP was also significantly associated with IMI in the discovery sample, with a borderline association in the validation sample (Extended Data Fig. 5 ). While BNP may hence reflect an underlying coronary artery disease, it did not add materially to a risk prediction model for IMI composed of more readily available biomarkers.

Several known mechanisms implicated in atherosclerosis and ischemia were represented among the other 94 biomarkers associated with an IMI in both the discovery and validation samples after adjusting for technical covariates, including inflammation (IL-6) 14 , extracellular matrix metabolism (WAP four-disulfide core domain protein 2 (WFDC2)) 15 , hypertrophy (adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor G1 (AGRG1)) 16 , apoptosis (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM1), tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10B (TRAIL-R2)) and cell adhesion (AGRG1). We also observed associations with markers representing mechanisms less often implicated in coronary diseases, such as markers of kidney injury (kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM1)) 17 , appetite regulation (growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15)) 18 , and an α-amino acid found in dietary supplements and associated with paracetamol use (pyroglutamine) 19 . While some associations may be causal, others, such as associations with levels of chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1) 20 , pleiotrophin (PTN) or KIT, may more likely be responses to myocardial ischemia. These findings may accelerate further etiological studies of acute coronary events.

We here developed a prediction model for IMI in the general population. An imminent infarction is difficult to predict; the signals are weak, and we faced power limitations. The model achieved good discriminative ability, with acceptable calibration in the lower risk range. It is possible to transpose to other settings by entering the base hazards and variable means of those settings, for example, interactively at miscore.org . Given the increasing global burden of deaths from myocardial infarction, the importance of predicting them and increasing the individual motivation for preventing such deaths may be substantial; this can be tested in clinical trials.

The current study has several limitations. First, the use of multiple cohorts introduced heterogeneity. We addressed this at the sampling, biomarker analysis and statistical analysis stages, with the resulting limitation that the heterogeneity decreases statistical power. The strengths are the same as in other multicenter studies, including that only biomarkers with consistent importance in different settings are brought forward. Other study limitations are inherent to the uncertainty of ranking the top findings and the inability of one-by-one strategies to capture complex interrelationships. The instability of the variable importances from the random forest was unsurprising, as such methods are notoriously data hungry and require far larger datasets than classical modeling techniques 21 . While the studied markers are easily obtainable by a simple blood test or clinical assessment, a limitation is that a blood sample will not always capture tissue-specific processes. In addition, our study was limited to proteins and metabolites that remain stable in the freezer for many years. The biomarker analyses used herein are currently not available in clinical practice, and we lacked the clinically available and more precise immunoassay measurements of, for example, NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin; hence, imprecision in the proximity extension assay and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS) technologies may preclude definitive mechanistic insights and maximal clinical utility. Further, making causal assumptions is fundamentally challenging in a multimarker landscape where many causal pathways are unknown. Most markers could be potential mediators in pathways for known causes of myocardial infarction, including age and sex. Consequently, we provided models adjusted for technical covariates only and models with further biological covariate adjustment. Thus, some associations could be explained by confounding by, for example, age and sex. Notably, mediators of causal effects are also important to identify, with implications for prediction and use as treatment targets.

In conclusion, we identified biomarkers associated with the risk of an imminent first myocardial infarction, including BNP. Delineation of the distinct biological processes that operate in the months before the first myocardial infarction will be key to discovering prevention targets. We developed and validated a prediction model with a fair ability to discriminate between persons with and without risk of an imminent first myocardial infarction. Risk prediction in the short term may enhance the motivation of patients and doctors for primary prevention.

Study sample and outcome

The MIMI study sample draws biobanked blood and data from six European cohorts of the BBMRI-LPC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure—Large Prospective Cohorts) collaboration 22 , as shown in Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 1 . After sample size determination, we supplied each cohort with a standardized protocol (in which all definitions are described in detail) and an R script for selecting cohort representatives for the subcohort ( Supplementary Notes ).

Cohort participants with biobanked samples (at least 250 μl of plasma or serum; eventually, only plasma was included) and no previous clinical cardiovascular disease were eligible for inclusion in the present study. The exclusion criteria were previous clinical cardiovascular disease (defined as the presence at any time before baseline of any of the following: myocardial infarction, coronary procedure, heart failure, structural heart disease, tachyarrhythmias, stroke, thromboembolic disease and peripheral vascular disease) and renal failure.

Individuals with acute myocardial infarction (International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD-10), I21; ICD-9, 410.0–410.6 and 410.8) as the primary cause of hospitalization or death within 6 months after baseline were defined as IMI cases. We included both ST-elevation and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarctions; we encouraged efforts to include only type 1 myocardial infarctions by not counting cases with any of the following ICD codes in secondary positions: anemia (for example, ICD-10, D50–D64; ICD-9, 280–285), tachyarrhythmias (for example, ICD-10, I47–I49; ICD-9, 427), heart failure (for example, ICD-10, I50; ICD-9, 428), renal failure (for example, ICD-10, N17–N19; ICD-9, 584–586), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (for example, ICD-10, J43–J44; ICD-9, 491, 492 and 496), sepsis and other severe infections (for example, ICD-10, A40–A41; ICD-9, 038), or hypertensive crises.

Up to four cohort representatives per available IMI case were randomly drawn from the full cohort to the subcohort in 50 strata based on sex, age (above/below median) and study center in a stratified case–cohort design 7 . All 420 IMI cases, and 1,598 subcohort representatives, were drawn from the full cohort of 169,053 participants, as summarized in Fig. 1 .

Clinical variables (age, sex, height, weight, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol, glucose, diabetes status, highest education, smoking status, previous smoking exposure, alcohol intake and physical activity) were harmonized between the cohorts ( Supplementary Notes ). Non-HDL cholesterol was calculated as total cholesterol − HDL cholesterol. LDL levels were calculated using the extended Martin–Hopkins equation 23 .

All blood samples were randomized into appropriate measurement plates, stratified by cohort (with a similar number from each cohort on every plate), and aliquoted into the plates. Quality controls are summarized below and described in detail in the Supplementary Notes .

Protein measurements were done using the Olink proximity extension assay (Olink), a highly specific 92-plex immunoassay. Overall, 829 proteins across nine panels (cardiometabolic, cardiovascular II, cardiovascular III, development, immune response, inflammation, metabolism, oncology II and organ damage) were analyzed, including 804 unique proteins (considering overlap between panels). Relative protein values on a log 2 scale are reported, with each protein value normalized by plate by centering all plates at the same median, assuming random plate placement. Values below the assay’s lower limit of detection (LOD) were also included in the analyses.

Metabolites were analyzed using the UPLC–tandem MS (UPLC–MS/MS)-based Metabolon platform (Metabolon) by four different methods: reversed-phase UPLC–MS/MS with positive-mode electrospray ionization (early and late phase), reversed-phase UPLC–MS/MS with negative-mode electrospray ionization, and hydrophilic interaction LC/UPLC–MS/MS with negative-mode electrospray ionization. Overall, 1,135 metabolites were captured, including 925 with known identity and 210 with unknown identity. Relative metabolite levels were determined and normalized by analysis day. Metabolite levels were log 2 transformed, and nondetectable levels (<LOD or metabolite not present in the sample) were constant value imputed to a value below the minimum metabolite value (minimum/sqrt(2)).

Samples that did not satisfy the quality control criteria were initially excluded; exclusion filters were applied separately for the proteomics and metabolomics analyses, and only samples passing quality control for both analyses were included in the analysis set. For the proteomics analysis, samples with more than 50% of panels failing for technical reasons were excluded ( n excluded = 33). For the metabolomics analysis, samples were excluded because of low volume or detection of fewer metabolites than expected ( n excluded = 4). Consequently, samples for 420 cases and 1,598 subcohort representatives remained for analysis.

Next, biomarkers with an extremely high proportion of nondetectable or below-LOD measurements were excluded, with the same exclusion filters for proteins and metabolites. Biomarkers had to be detected in all six cohorts with at least 30 detectable values across all cohorts (~1.5% of the MIMI samples) or were otherwise excluded. Consequently, 817 proteins (some duplicates) and 1,025 metabolites were retained for analysis.

Statistical analysis

All analyses were done using R (version 4.1.1) 24 with the glmnet 25 , mice 26 , rms 27 , ranger 28 and survival 29 add-on packages.

One-by-one etiological analyses

In the discovery sample, the associations of all clinical variables (listed in Extended Data Table 1 ), proteins and metabolites with IMI were analyzed in separate weighted, stratified Cox proportional-hazards regression models adjusting for covariates, as described below. Inverse sampling probability weights (Borgan II) were applied to account for the case–cohort design in a stratified model, allowing for a different shape of the baseline hazard for each MIMI cohort (six levels) and using a robust variance estimator (Huber–White). Nonlinear relationships between continuous covariates (not including the biomarkers) and IMI were modeled using restricted cubic splines, and all factor variables were considered unordered.

Associations with an FDR (Benjamini–Hochberg) of <0.05 were taken forward to the validation sample, in which directionally consistent results with P  < 0.05 were considered replicated.

Cox proportional-hazards models adjusting for technical covariates (season, storage time and plate) were initially applied. Replicating biomarkers from the model adjusting for technical covariates were investigated in a model further adjusting for age and sex. A model allowing for an interaction between the biomarker and sex was further tested. Replicating biomarkers in the model adjusted for age and sex were then subjected to causal assumptions (Extended Data Fig. 1 ), and a bias-minimized model for each biomarker was investigated, estimating the total effects (including the effects of mediators).

Missingness and sensitivity analyses

Clinical variables with high missingness (previous smoking exposure, alcohol intake and physical activity) were not used in the analyses. Protein values below the LOD were included in the analyses; nondetectable metabolite levels were replaced with a constant value, and a missing indicator was added, as described below. The remaining missing values in the covariates were multiple imputed ( n imputations = 20) using chained equations including the outcome, clinical covariates and other variables correlated with the variable in the imputation model 30 . Regression results across imputed datasets were combined using Rubin’s rules 31 .

Interactions with sex were investigated by analyzing an interaction term for sex and each biomarker in models adjusting for technical covariates, age and sex. The interaction terms and all terms including the biomarker were tested using a multivariable chi-squared test with the same multiple-testing correction described above, requiring directionally consistent discovery and validation results.

The following secondary sensitivity analyses were included: random-effects inverse variance-weighted meta-analyses (DerSimonian–Laird) combining per-cohort results, leave-one-out analyses investigating the influence of single cohorts, complete-case analyses not imputing missing values in the clinical covariates, and analyses limiting the follow-up time to 3 months.

Simultaneous modeling and development of a prediction model

To attempt predicting this phenotype, we developed a prediction model for IMI using age, sex, anthropometric variables (height, weight and waist circumference), variables routinely collected in the laboratory (LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, creatinine, glucose and triglycerides), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, smoking status (never, former or current) and education level. Regression coefficients were estimated using a weighted Cox ridge regression model, which shrinks coefficients toward zero using an L 2 penalty to accommodate overfitting. The strength of the penalty (lambda) was determined using tenfold cross-validation over a grid of 250 lambda values, repeated 100 times. The lambda selection was repeated in each imputed dataset, and the coefficients associated with the lambda giving the lowest cross-validated deviance were extracted. The final coefficient set was obtained by taking the median of the coefficients from each imputed dataset. A single-imputed dataset was used for validation and calibration. The C-index, which indicates a model’s ability to rank the risks, was determined using 100 repeats of tenfold cross-validation. A calibration curve was constructed using 100 repeats of tenfold cross-validation 32 . All modeling steps were repeated in each fold to assess the calibration accuracy objectively. The model containing only clinical variables was then reduced by approximating the linear predictor from the full model through stepwise regression. Predictions from the full model were used as the outcome in a linear model wherein variables were dropped sequentially until R 2  > 0.95. This yielded a highly parsimonious final model incorporating the main drivers of predictions. The prediction model was compared to SCORE2, a validated prediction model for the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease developed using multiple European cohorts 33 . The 10-year survival probability and the covariate mean values used in the SCORE2 equations were replaced with the estimated 6-month survival probability and mean values from the current data to calculate the SCORE2-estimated 6-month cardiovascular disease risk 34 . Two additional external validations of the model were performed in the UK Biobank. First, all coefficients and covariate mean values in Supplementary Table 4 were used to validate the model. Second, the model was recalibrated using mean values and the estimated baseline risk from the UK Biobank cohort before validation.

To evaluate whether any biomarkers added to the clinical prediction model improve risk prediction, we used the linear predictor from the prediction model as an offset in a LASSO Cox regression model. Before model fitting, all proteins and metabolites were adjusted for technical variables. Briefly, each biomarker was used as the outcome variable in a regression model with all technical variables as covariates. The residuals from these models were used in place of the original biomarker values in the LASSO model. The LASSO model fitting was bootstrapped 250 times to investigate the stability of the variable selection.

As the biomarkers may have nonlinear associations with the outcome and interact with one another, and prior knowledge about nonlinearities and interactions among these variables is scarce, a random forest with 2,000 trees was fitted to the data as an exploratory analysis. Briefly, the random forest fits survival trees to bootstrap data samples using a random subset of the variables in each tree, handling interactions and nonlinearities naturally. A variable importance measure is associated with each variable and calculated based on the number of splits in which a variable is involved. The random forest was bootstrapped 250 times to obtain CIs for the variable importance measures.

Further analysis of relevant biomarkers

The associations of proteins detected using the Olink panels cardiovascular II and cardiovascular III with the CACS were available for testing in individuals free from cardiovascular disease (self-reported myocardial infarction, angina, coronary intervention, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and peripheral artery disease) for 1,586 participants at the Malmö or Uppsala centers of SCAPIS 35 . A higher CACS reflects a higher myocardial infarction risk. Proteins replicated in the primary MIMI analysis (BNP) were tested for an association with the CACS using an ordinal regression model adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, creatinine, center, Olink plate, analysis date and season.

This study was approved by the Uppsala Ethics Authority (Dnr 2016/197). All Estonian Biobank participants signed a broad informed consent form. The study was carried out under ethical approval 258/M-21 from the research ethics committee of the University of Tartu and data release J08 from the Estonian Biobank. The Lifelines protocol was approved by the University Medical Center Groningen medical ethical committee under number 2007/152. The study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The EpiHealth study was approved by the ethics committee of Uppsala University, and all participants provided informed written consent. The MFM was approved by the previous regional research committee in Lund, Sweden (2014/643), and all participants provided informed consent. Ethical review boards of the cohorts in EPIC-CVD approved the study protocol, and all participants provided written informed consent. Participation in the HUNT study was based on informed consent, and the Data Inspectorate and the Regional Ethics Committee for Medical Research in Norway approved the study.

Reporting summary

Further information on research design is available in the Nature Portfolio Reporting Summary linked to this article.

Data availability

Data supporting the findings of this study are provided in the article and related files. Raw data are not publicly available, as they contain sensitive personal information, but may be obtained from the original cohorts upon request, with varying processes, requirements and response times. For example, researchers can apply to use the Lifelines data used in this study; information on how to request access to Lifelines data and the conditions of use can be found at https://lifelines.nl/researcher/how-to-apply . Data accession codes for this study are described below.

Code availability

The prediction model equation is available at miscore.org . Code is available at https://github.com/stefan-gustafsson-work/mimi . All code used to analyze UK Biobank data is deposited at the UK Biobank repository. Questions about the analyses and code can be sent to the corresponding author.

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Acknowledgements

Transnational access to the large European prospective cohorts was provided by the BBMRI-LPC project funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (grant no. 313010, J.S.).

The Estonian Biobank study was supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (project no. 2014-2020.4.01.15-0012) and by institutional research funding IUT (IUT20-60) of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. We thank M. Alver (Estonian Biobank) for help with phenotype data.

The Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) is a collaboration between the HUNT Research Centre (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU), Trøndelag County Council, Central Norway Regional Health Authority, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The Lifelines initiative was made possible by a subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs; the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Groningen University; and the provinces in the north of the Netherlands (Drenthe, Friesland, Groningen). Lifelines is a multidisciplinary, prospective, population-based cohort study examining the health and health-related behaviors of 167,729 persons living in the north of the Netherlands in a unique three-generation design. The study used a broad range of investigative procedures in assessing the biomedical, sociodemographic, behavioral, physical and psychological factors that contribute to the health and disease of the general population, with a particular focus on multimorbidity and complex genetics.

EPIC-CVD was supported by funding from the European Commission Framework Programme 7 (HEALTH-F2-2012-279233), European Research Council (268834), Novartis, UK Medical Research Council (G0800270, MR/L003120/1), British Heart Foundation (SP/09/002, RG/13/13/30194, RG/18/13/33946), and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215-20014). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The coordination of EPIC was financially supported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, which has additional infrastructure support provided by the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). The national cohorts were supported by the Danish Cancer Society (Denmark); Ligue Contre le Cancer, Institut Gustave Roussy, Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) (France); German Cancer Aid, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Germany); Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), Compagnia di SanPaolo and National Research Council (Italy); Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Netherlands Cancer Registry (NKR), LK Research Funds, Dutch Prevention Funds, Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), Statistics Netherlands (Netherlands); Health Research Fund (FIS)–Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), regional governments (Andalucía, Asturias, Basque Country, Murcia and Navarra), Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) (Spain); Swedish Cancer Society, Swedish Research Council and county councils of Skåne and Västerbotten (Sweden); Cancer Research UK (14136 to EPIC-Norfolk, C8221/A29017 to EPIC-Oxford), Medical Research Council (1000143 to EPIC-Norfolk, MR/M012190/1 to EPIC-Oxford) (United Kingdom). We thank all EPIC participants and staff for their contribution to the study, the laboratory teams at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit for sample management and at Cambridge Genomic Services for genotyping, S. Spackman for data management, and the team at the EPIC-CVD Coordinating Centre for study coordination and administration.

SCAPIS was supported by Hjärt-Lungfonden, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and VINNOVA.

This research was conducted using the UK Biobank resource under application no. 52678.

Grants were received from the European Research Council (no. 801965), Swedish Research Council, VR (2019-01471) and Hjärt-Lungfonden (20190505) (T.F.).

Grants were received from AFA Försäkring (160266), the Swedish Research Council (2016-01065), Hjärt-Lungfonden (20160734) and A. Wiklöf (J.S.).

The computations were enabled by resources in projects sens2019006 and sens2020005 provided by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) at UPPMAX, partially funded by the Swedish Research Council through grant agreement no. 2018-05973.

The funding sources for the different cohorts and the sponsors of the current work did not have any part in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. Where authors are identified as personnel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization, the authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article, and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policies or views of the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization.

Open access funding provided by Uppsala University.

Author information

These authors contributed equally: Stefan Gustafsson, Erik Lampa.

Authors and Affiliations

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Stefan Gustafsson, Erik Lampa, Lars Lind, Erik Ingelsson, Ulf Hammar, Tove Fall & Johan Sundström

Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Karin Jensevik Eriksson & Bodil Svennblad

BHF Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Adam S. Butterworth

BHF Centre of Research Excellence, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Donor Health and Genomics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

HDR UK Cambridge, Wellcome Genome Campus and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Department of Clinical Sciences, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

Sölve Elmståhl, Gunnar Engström & Peter M. Nilsson

K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Kristian Hveem, Arnulf Langhammer & Bjørn Olav Åsvold

HUNT Research Center, Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Levanger, Norway

Kristian Hveem & Bjørn Olav Åsvold

Genomic Epidemiology Branch, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France

Mattias Johansson

Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust, Levanger, Norway

Arnulf Langhammer

Estonian Genome Centre, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Kristi Läll & Andres Metspalu

Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Clinical Network (ISPRO), Florence, Italy

Giovanna Masala

Navarra Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain

Conchi Moreno-Iribas

IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, Pamplona, Spain

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland

Markus Perola & Birgit Simell

Lifelines Cohort Study, Groningen, Netherlands

Hemmo Sipsma

Department of Endocrinology, Clinic of Medicine, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

Bjørn Olav Åsvold

Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Ulf Hammar & Tove Fall

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Andrea Ganna

Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA

Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Bodil Svennblad

The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Johan Sundström

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Contributions

J.S., S.G., E.L., E.I., U.H., A.G., B. Svennblad and T.F. were responsible for the study conception and design. S.G., E.L. and K.J.E. performed the statistical analyses. J.S. wrote the final draft together with S.G. and E.L. A.S.B., S.E., G.E., K.H., M.J., A.L., L.L., K.L., G.M., A.M., C.M.-I., P.M.N., M.P., B. Simell, H.S. and B.O.Å. were responsible for data acquisition for the different cohorts. All authors contributed to manuscript preparation and provided critical comments on the final manuscript. All authors had full access to all study data and had final responsibility for the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Johan Sundström .

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Competing interests.

The authors declare the following competing interests: A.S.B. reports grants outside this work (from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Biogen, BioMarin, Bioverativ, Novartis and Sanofi) and personal fees from Novartis. E.I. is now an employee at GlaxoSmithKline. S.G. is an employee of Sence Research AB. J.S. reports stock ownership in Anagram kommunikation AB and Symptoms Europe AB outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests.

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Extended data

Extended data fig. 1 causal assumptions for developing bias- minimized models..

Directional acyclic graph (DAG) showing the best-guess relationship between the exposure (BNP) and the outcome (IMI) and other factors influencing this relationship together with the expected direction.

Extended Data Fig. 2 Variables associated with risk of an imminent myocardial infarction, further adjusted for age and sex.

Scatter plot comparing the point estimate (log[HR]) and corresponding 95% confidence interval from models adjusting for technical covariates (x-axis) and models additionally adjusting for age and sex (y-axis) in the full MIMI study. The 95% C.I. is calculated for the biomarker only whereas the p-value in the tables is based on the 2 d.f. Wald test (two-sided) of biomarker and missing indicator (when used), hence the 95% C.I. might overlap with null for a p-value < 0.05. N=420 cases and 1598 non-cases.

Extended Data Fig. 3 Association of BNP with Risk of an Imminent Myocardial Infarction.

Kaplan–Meier graph of unadjusted cumulative hazard of an imminent myocardial infarction (IMI) by fourths (Q) of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), weighted by sampling weights.

Extended Data Fig. 4 Leave-one-out analyses of the association of BNP with imminent myocardial infarction.

Model with BNP and technical covariates in leave-one-out analyses where one cohort was omitted at time.

Extended Data Fig. 5 Associations of BNP and NT-proBNP with imminent myocardial infarction in the individual cohorts.

Forest plot of the regression results in the model adjusting for technical covariates performed per cohort for all available BNP measurements (BNP and N-terminal pro form). Hazard ratio and corresponding 95% confidence interval is presented. NT-proBNP is measured on both the CVD2 (*) and Metabolism panel (**). Individual cohort sample sizes are given in Supplementary Table 1 .

Extended Data Fig. 6 Comparison of associations of biomarkers with risk of IMI within 3 vs 6 months.

Regression estimates from models with time to IMI within 3 vs 6 months as outcomes. MI, myocardial infarction.

Extended Data Fig. 7 Calibration of the prediction model.

a Internal calibration. Cross-validated calibration curves for predicted probabilities of an imminent myocardial infarction from the MIMI model (solid black line) and the SCORE2 model (dashed black line). b External calibration. Calibration curves for predicted probabilities of an imminent myocardial infarction from the original MIMI model (solid black line), the MIMI model recalibrated to the UKBB data (dotted black line), and the original SCORE2 model (dashed black line). The diagonal gray line in both panels is the line of ideal calibration where predicted probabilities match the observed fraction experiencing the event.

Extended Data Fig. 8

Worked example of nomogram use. A 78-year-old (73 points) smoking (13 points) low-educated (10 points) man (23 points) with diabetes (8 points), height 1.71 m (28 points), waist circumference 110 cm (22 points), LDL cholesterol 4.5 mmol/L (21 points) and HDL cholesterol 1.2 mmol/L (39 points) will have a total score of 73 + 13 + 10 + 23 + 8 + 28 + 22 + 21 + 39 = 237 points, corresponding to a 6- month risk of a first myocardial infarction of circa 1.58%. The model is also presented as an interactive web application on miscore.org.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

Supplementary Notes and References.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary tables.

Supplementary Tables 1–5.

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Gustafsson, S., Lampa, E., Jensevik Eriksson, K. et al. Markers of imminent myocardial infarction. Nat Cardiovasc Res 3 , 130–139 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44161-024-00422-2

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/s44161-024-00422-2

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  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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